An old man looked from his window
The length of a sandy beach,
Where two little boats at mooring lay
Just out of the billows' reach.
He leaned his head on the casement,
And talked to them with a sigh:
"It's fine to be out on the tossing bay,
But safe to be high and dry.
"Do you long for the laughing water
So near to the stranded stern?
At the siren call of the ebbing tide
Do you tremble and thrill and yearn?
"Do you dream of the old glad bounding,
At rest on the sand and stone?
Do your empty hearts in a weary plaint
Give moan to the ocean's moan?
"You need not answer," he murmured,
"I know what you fain would say;
For in my life is a line of sand,
Where the boats are moored for aye."