Cape-Cottage at Sunset by William B. Glazier is one of my favorite poems. It is even more achingly beautiful if listened to by Andrew MacMillian, whose poignant, reflective bass voice is as deep as the fathomless sea Glazier writes about. It’s on volume 3 entitled “The Mystic Sea” of The Sea collection if you can get your hands on a copy.
According to Native Poets of Maine, published in 1854 and written by S. Herbert Laxcey, Glazier wrote poetry uncommon for his age. He was born on June 29, 1827 in Hallowell, Maine and graduated from Harvard in 1843. Laxcey wrote, “Mr. Glazier is still an unmarried man, owing to which his poetry is tinged too much with love-yearnings, although they are beautifully interwoven into many of his poems. He possesses an originality of thought, a beautiful and graceful expression that but very few of our younger poets excel.”
If you’d like to read what some said is his masterpiece, here you go. Oh, Summer Sea was delivered by Glazier at a commencement address at the Literary Societies of Bowdoin College.
Oh! Summer Sea, thy murmuring waves are singing,
A song of sweetness in my listening ear,
Youth, Love and Hope, that lulling strain is bringing
Back to my heart in forms distinct and dear;
Again the glorious visions of Life’s morning
Rise on my sight, and make the darkness flee,
Again upon thy shores, at daylight’s dawning,
I walk with one beloved, oh, Summer Sea.
Your soft waves kiss her feet and love to linger
Upon the sand where her light steps have stray’d,
Now in thy tide she dips her snowy finger,
And now I feel it on my forehead laid;
‘I sign thee with a sign’ she softly murmurs,
And turns her blushing face away from me,
‘Thou shalt be happy, love, through many summers,
‘And I will love thee, hear me, Summer Sea.'”
Thou heard’st the vow, oh, gentle Sea of Summer!
Thou heard’st it, laughing in the morning ray,
Thou knewest well that Love, the earliest comer,
Is very prone to make the shortest stay;
The sign died up beneath the rays of morning,
The vow found wings as fast and far to flee,
Now, I prefer my sleep at daylight’s dawning
To wandering on thy shores, oh, Summer Sea!
Until we meet again,
About Julie Saffrin
Julie Saffrin is the author of numerous published articles and essays. Her latest book, BlessBack: Thank Those Who Shaped Your Life, explores the power of gratitude and offers 120 creative ways to journey toward positive, lasting change.