How many surges of foam at my feet
As a breakers last passion expires;
How many fountains of salt-diamond spray
Like a flame of primordial fires;
How many vistas of purple and gold
From the suns bright and westering way;
How many steps may I print in the sand
Ere the sands of my time have their day?
How many moon-molten surfs will I see
With their liquid of silver and star?
How many dawns with their ominous gray
As the stubborn fog clings to the bar,
Then yields to the gold of that conquering orb,
Which ascends with Promethian fire,
To burnish a seascape of billow and cloud
Into castle, cathedral, and spire?
Ah, the gift that is mine from His heavenly grace
To view with terrestrial eyes
The nearly celestial montage of this scene,
With the infinite breadth of the skies
Caught fast in the cadented watch-work of time
As I muse by this metronomed shore,
While the tick and the tock of eternitys clock
Brings that instant when time will be oer.
The when of that instant I cannot now know,
As I know not the depths of the sea.
The mist-mantled future I only surmise
Til the final wave breaks upon me.
The whence of that instant is lighted and clear,
Like the unclouded rays on the sand.
Like a sea eagle to heavens fair shore
I shall soar to that bright, sunlit land.
Before that glad instant when faith becomes sight,
When we rise to the glory supreme,
I shall work to the utmost, unceasingly pray,
Speaking ever this transporting theme
That Christ by His grace and the blood of the cross
Gives salvation and life to His own
Beyond these fair shores to rule ever with Him
Who will reign from His glorified throne.