"Calais" [poem]
THE sands are in the sunlight sleeping,
The ocean barrier is beating; a
Again, again for evermore
Haste the light curlings to the shore,
That from the sands the impression sweep
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Of playful Childhoodʼs daring feet,
That seeks within its sandy cell
The pebble bright, or purple shell. 1
Far in its clear expanse, lay wide
Unruffledly that ocean‐tide,
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Stretching away where paler grew
The heavenʼs bright unclouded blue.
And, far away in distance dying,
Old Englandʼs cliffy coast was lying;
And beautiful as summer cloud
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By the low sun empurpled proud.
Strange, that a space from shore to shore
So soon, so easily passed oʼer,
Should yet a wide distinction place
ʼTwixt man and man, ʼtwixt race and race!
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Sudden and marked the change you find,—
Religion, language, even mind; 2
That you might think that narrow span
Marked the varieties of man.