NOW when life is nearly o’er,
And there remains for me
Only the bleak and barren shore
By a cold and threatening sea,
I stand alone and watch the surges rise
And strive to pierce with, tear dimmed, darkening eyes
The cold sea fog that wreathes me all around.
What restless secret lingers in the sound
Of hissing waves that roll upon the beach,
Linger a moment and return again,
Murmuring ever the old refrain,
Far beyond reach,
Back to the sea?
Then of a sudden the thought came to me,
The life of man is ever like a wave,
That coming from the unknown darkness of the sea,
Where none can alter, limit, help or save,
Lingers for one brief moment on life’s changing shore,
Then swiftly turns again and comes no more,
Again become an atom in the sea.
And we too, when the game of life is done,
Smile sadly, when we sit alone and ponder
Over how much is lost, how little won,
And watch with tired relief and slightly wonder
At the drifting flotsam of our lives,
Rejoicing only we again can cease to be,
When after struggles, sorrows, hopes and fears,
And feeble flickering through uncertain years,
The wave returns again unto the sea.
Sandeman, Christopher. “Rhapsodie Capriccioso.” The Venture: an Annual of Art and Literature, vol. 2, 1905, p. 182. Venture Digital Edition, edited by Lorraine Janzen Kooistra, 2019-2022. Yellow Nineties 2.0, Toronto Metropolitan University Centre for Digital Humanities, 2022, https://1890s.ca/vv2-sandeman-capriccioso