Sun and Shadow ~ Poem by Oliver Wendell Holmes

SUN AND SHADOW

As I look from the isle, o’er its billows of green,
To the billows of foam-crested blue,
Yon bark, that afar in the distance is seen,
Half dreaming, my eyes will pursue
Now dark in the shadow, she scatters the spray
As the chaff in the stroke of the flail;
Now white as the sea-gull, she flies on her way,
The sun gleaming bright on her sail.

Yet her pilot is thinking of dangers to shun,—
Of breakers that whiten and roar;
How little he cares, if in shadow or sun
They see him who gaze from the shore!
He looks to the beacon that looms from the reef,
To the rock that is under his lee,
As he drifts on the blast, like a wind-wafted leaf,
O’er the gulfs of the desolate sea.

Thus drifting afar to the dim-vaulted caves
Where life and its ventures are laid,
The dreamers who gaze while we battle the waves
May see us in sunshine or shade;
Yet true to our course, though the shadows grow dark,
We’ll trim our broad sail as before,
And stand by the rudder that governs the bark,
Nor ask how we look from the shore!

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“Loss and Gain” Poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

LOSS AND GAIN

     When I compare
What I have lost with what I have gained,
What I have missed with what attained,
  Little room do I find for pride.
     I am aware
How many days have been idly spent;
How like an arrow the good intent
  Has fallen short or been turned aside.
     But who shall dare
To measure loss and gain in this wise?
Defeat may be victory in disguise;
  The lowest ebb is the turn of the tide.

Excerpt From
The Complete Poetical Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow