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Alice Duer Miller 1874 (New York) – 1942 (New York)

AND will you rest at last, storm-beaten spirit,
In this poor heart, who would your haven be,
Will you sink down at last, content to inherit
The common treaures of tranquillity?
Will you forget your high and fierce endeavor
The hinted island and the hidden seas,
Defeats, escapes, adventures, that forever
Left you more sad, and never more at ease?

When the west wind on summer evenings blowing
Brings to your ears the sound of sails that fill,
And moving ships eclipse your starlight, going
To lands unseen, and fates that beckon still;
When you shall see beneath the moon new risen,
The hissing wake of other vessels' foam,
Will not this land-locked harbor seem a prison
Where calms and shallows mock the name of home?

Ah, when your longing for the open ocean
Captures your heart, and bids you set your sail,
Feeble will be the bonds of my devotion;
Little will love - your own or mine - avail:
Happy to you will seem some ship-wrecked stranger,
Keener than love the zest of being free,
Sweeter than peace, the summoning of danger; ­
Some day at sunrise you will put to sea.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Alice Duer Miller

Alice Duer Miller was a writer from the U.S. whose poetry actively influenced political opinion. Her feminist verses made an impact on the suffrage issue, and her verse novel The White Cliffs encouraged U.S. entry into World War II. She also wrote novels and screenplays. more…

All Alice Duer Miller poems | Alice Duer Miller Books

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