.Grand Haven Daily Tribune   May 22, 1897



Sunset at Lake Michigan.


The sun, with more of glory
Than Solomon of old;
Rode down in kingly splendor
Upon a sea of gold!
O, what a gorgeous pathway
Across the lake was made,
When all his shining tresses
Were on the waters laid!

And when those flaming glories
To deeper glory grow;
When all that scene resplendent,
Assumed an azure hue;
The soft fringed clouds of evening
Seemed flecked with crimson dyes;
And looked like floating islands
Upon the garish skies.

Beside those glassing waters,
I linger long tonight;
Till all the sunset glories
Passed slowly out of sight;
Till heaven’s side arch of beauty
With bright reflections burned;
And daylight’s closing gateways
On dusky hinges turned.

Soon came the thickening shadows,
Like specters tall and gray;
And drew their dingy curtains
Around the closing day:—
And while the darkness deepened
Upon the lake, and land,
I heard the gentle lappings
Of waves upon the sand.

I heard the southern zephyrs
Breathe sweetly o’er the lake;
Telling that hope, and springtime,
Were coming in their wake:—
And in that restful moment,
Down by the waves, alone,
I heard the old lake saying,
In gentle undertone.

“Beneath these mighty waters,
“Placed here by God on high:—
“Upon the floor, where mountains
“Of liquid darkness lie:—
“Old age, and merry childhood;
“Fair youth in beauty’s bloom;
“Have in eternal silence
“Found here, a secret tomb.

And there amid the darkness,
That thickened more and more;
I listened for the whispers
Thus coming towards the shore:—
Till, to my vivid fancy,
The lake parted for me,
And through its walls of crystal
A pathway I could see!

I stepped down that passage
Made smooth by wind and tide;
Far down and ever downward,
And gazed on either side!
But oh! it grieved me, sorely,
To see upon that floor—
Among the wrecks, and ruins—
The forms I’d seen before!

 There were the forms of manhood,
Matrons, and maidens sweet;
Even the bones of children,
Were lying at my feet!
In one inverted cabin,
Half buried in the sands;
I saw old friends, and neighbors,
With outstretched, fleshless hands!

And then I well remembered,
The night they went of yore,
Upon the “Old Alpena,”
Which never came ashore!
Oh! rest, ill-fated pilgrims!
‘Tell the Arch-Angel’s blast,
Shall wake you, De profundis,
And bring you up at last!

 While musing on these subjects,
And gazing on high—
Up through those walls of water—
I saw the starry sky—
And I retrace my footsteps,
Upon the sanded floor;
And ere the noon of midnight
My feet regained the shore.



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