The Lagoon

By George Sterling

Where Carmel River nears the sea
    The surf is loud and high;
There go the gull and heron free
    Against the morning sky.

And there the tireless billow heaps
    The salt and amber sand,
And rears a bar whose rampart keeps
    The river to the land.

Pent in, the baffled waters spread
    To one serene lagoon,
A crimson lake ere day is fled,—
    A mirror to the moon.

All night the western ocean raves
    Below the tacit star;
All night the shock of towering waves
    Is on the narrow bar.

But close at hand the sea-birds lie
    In refuge from the deep,
And through the dark the rushes sigh
    Where tern and mallard sleep.

Near by the surf casts up its snow
    To tell its large unrest,
But In that placid sky below
    The mirrored stars creep west.

A thousand voices fill the night
    Where cold the waters fall;
Unmoved, they wait the morning light,
    Nor heed that rage at all.

Where Carmel River meets the sea
    The loon, a refuge hath;
The sea-bird slumbers quietly
    A stone's throw from that wrath.

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