Bayard Taylor image

Bayard Taylor

Jan. 11, 1825 - Dec 19, 1878


The Sirens (They are rough with the salt of the sea ...)

by Bayard Taylor

They are rough with the salt of the sea,
They are brown with the brand of the sun:
They are weary, weary of the sea;
They are weary of the sun.
Tug at the heavy oar;
Heave at the stubborn sail, --
Tossed in the mid-sea gale,
Wrecked on the fatal shore!

Here in our isles is rest,
Here there is rest alone:
Sweet is rest, ah, sweet is rest,
White the arms and warm the breast, --
Naught beyond but the unknown West,
Naught but the waves unknown!

From their foreheads wipe the brine,
Round their brows the poppies twine
Lay them on couches of balmy thyme,
Deep in the shade of the bee-loved lime!

Let them sleep: the restless deep
Here no more compels to keep
The weary watches that baffle sleep:
Toil is here a thing unknown,
Peril is a stranger here;
Sweetest rest, and rest alone,
Waits the weary mariner.


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