The smell of the sea in my nostrils,
The sound of the sea in my ears;
The touch of the spray on my burning face,
Like the mist of reluctant tears.
The blue of the sky above me,
The green of the waves beneath;
The sun flashing down on a gray-white sail
Like a scimitar from its sheath.
And ever the breaking billows,
And ever the rocks’ disdain;
And ever a thrill in mine inmost heart
That my reason cannot explain.
So I say to my heart, “Be silent,
The mystery of time is here;
Death’s way will be plain when we fathom the main,
And the secret of life be clear.”
by Paul Laurence Dunbar