Bayard Taylor image

Bayard Taylor

Jan. 11, 1825 - Dec 19, 1878


On The Headland

by Bayard Taylor

I sit on the lonely headland,
Where the sea-gulls come and go:
The sky is gray above me,
And the sea is gray below.

There is no fisherman's pinnace
Homeward or outward bound;
I see no living creature
In the world's deserted round.

I pine for something human,
Man, woman, young or old, --
Something to meet and welcome,
Something to clasp and hold.

I have a mouth for kisses,
But there's no one to give and take;
I have a heart in my bosom
Beating for nobody's sake.

O warmth of love that is wasted!
Is there none to stretch a hand?
No other heart that hungers
In all the living land?

I could fondle the fisherman's baby,
And rock it into rest;
I could take the sunburnt sailor,
Like a brother, to my breast.

I could clasp the hand of any
Outcast of land or sea,
If the guilty palm but answered
The tenderness in me!

The sea might rise and drown me, --
Cliffs fall and crush my head, --
Were there one to love me, living,
Or weep to see me dead!


The Poet's Journal
Copyright 1863
Ticknor and Fields, Boston