I am Here

Alone I roamed by the ocean’s shore,
And watched
The wrestling waves in brawling roar—
Alive with Thine own restless life.
Thine angry mood in ripply quiver—
Until Thy wrathful vastness made me shiver
And turn away from nature’s heated strife.
And then
A kindly, spreading, sentinel tree
Waved friendly arms to comfort me—
Consoling me with gentler look sublime,
Its swaying leaves in tender lullaby-rhyme,
Singing a message that I knew was Thine.
I saw the gaugeless, mystic sky;
And, childlike, in the valley dim I sought to pry
At Thee, and to play with Thee.
But in vain I sought Thy body, hiding there,
Cloud-robed, foam-sprayed, leaf-garlanded—
Too rare for mortal eyes to see, or ears to hear.
And yet,
I knew that Thou wert always near,
As if to play at hide-and-seek with me,
Receding when I almost touched Thee,
Groping to find Thee through the maddening fold
Of ignorant darkness — old as time is old.
At last,
I ceased my search in dim despair,
My search for Thee! O Thou Royal Sly Eluder!
. . . everywhere,
Yet seeming nowhere . . . lost in unplumbed space,
Where none may clasp Thee or behold Thy face!
In haste,
I ceased my fruitless search and hied away from Thee!
Still, still no answer from the wrathful sea,
And only whispers from the friendly tree;
Just silence from the limitless blue sky—
Silence from valley low and mountain high!
Like a hurt child, within the depths of me
I hid and sulked-no longer seeking Thee.
When, lo!
Unheralded, some Unseen Hand
Suddenly snatched away the all-black band
That had so blinded me with fold on fold.
No longer weary, filled with strength untold,
I stood, and watched again
A laughing sea, instead of wrathful roars,
A gay, glad world, with mystically opened doors.
With only mists of dreams between,
Someone beside me stood unseen—
And whispered to me, cool and clear:
“Hello, playmate! I am here!”