George Sterling

Youth and Time

ONCE as a boy I dreamed
Where wider waters gleamed
    Of ships below 
The slowly gathering western stars,
The last of sunset in their lofty spars
And great winds urging to a harbor shown
    On charts of long ago 
And solitary oceans then unknown.

The islands of their quest,
Deep in the mystic west,
    I too would find 
And wed the daughter of a king.
Almost I heard the distant cordage sing
And saw the silvern light of that far foam,
    Born of a sea and wind 
That called me outward from my boyhood home.
All that was long ago.
How, hazardless, I know—
    Who knew not then 
How far the tides of Time would lead-
That dream and mystery were mine indeed
And mine the loss or victories of Chance.
    Seaward I gaze again 
And know that boyhood was the true romance.

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