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About this Poem 

“Drifting Flowers of the Sea” was self-published in Drifting Flowers of the Sea and Other Poems (1904).

Drifting Flowers of the Sea

Across the dunes, in the waning light,
The rising moon pours her amber rays,
Through the slumbrous air of the dim, brown night
The pungent smell of the seaweed strays—
     From vast and trackless spaces
       Where wind and water meet,
         White flowers, that rise from the sleepless deep,
             Come drifting to my feet.
     They flutter the shore in a drowsy tune,
       Unfurl their bloom to the lightlorn sky,
         Allow a caress to the rising moon,
             Then fall to slumber, and fade, and die.

White flowers, a-bloom on the vagrant deep,
Like dreams of love, rising out of sleep,
You are the songs, I dreamt but never sung,
Pale hopes my thoughts alone have known,
Vain words ne’er uttered, though on the tongue,
That winds to the sibilant seas have blown.
      In you, I see the everlasting drift of years
        That will endure all sorrows, smiles and tears;
          For when the bell of time will ring the doom
            To all the follies of the human race,
               You still will rise in fugitive bloom
                  And garland the shores of ruined space.

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on September 16, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on September 16, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.

Sadakichi Hartmann

Sadakichi Hartmann

Carl Sadakichi Hartmann, born in the late 1860s in Japan, was a dramatist, fiction writer, and art critic. His poetry collections include Naked Ghosts: Four Poems (Fantasia, 1925), Tanka and Haiku: 14 Japanese Rhythms (G. Bruno, 1915), and My Rubaiyat (Mangan, 1913). He died in November 1944.

by this poet

poem
I. 

Winter? Spring? Who knows? 
White buds from the plumtrees wing 
And mingle with the snows. 
No blue skies these flowers bring, 
Yet their fragrance augurs Spring. 

II. 

Oh, were the white waves, 
Far on the glimmering sea 
That the moonshine laves, 
Dream flowers drifting to me,—
I would cull them, love,