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Across the lonely beach we flit,

One little sandpiper and I, And fast I gather, bit by bit,

The scattered driftwood, bleached and dry. 5 The wild waves reach their hands for it,

The wild wind raves, the tide runs high, As up and down the beach we flit,

One little sandpiper and I.

Above our heads the sullen clouds

Scud, black and swift, across the sky; Like silent ghosts in misty shrouds

Stand out the white lighthouses high. Almost as far as eye can reach

I see the close-reefed vessels fly, As fast we flit along the beach,

One little sandpiper and I.



I watch him as he skims along,

Uttering his sweet and mournful cry; He starts not at my fitful song,

Nor flash of fluttering drapery.
He has no thought of any wrong,

He scans me with a fearless eye;
Stanch friends are we, well tried and strong,

The little sandpiper and I.


Comrade, where wilt thou be to-night,

When the loosed storm breaks furiously? My driftwood fire will burn so bright!

To what warm shelter canst thou fly? I do not fear for thee, though wroth


The tempest rushes through the sky; For are we not God's children both,

Thou, little sandpiper, and I?

[blocks in formation]

The wild waves reach their hands for it, The wild wind raves, the

[blocks in formation]

beach (bēch): shore
bleached (blēcht): made white
closereefed (klos'rēft'): with sails

drawn in
comrade (kom'rad): companion
drapery (drā'per ý): a fabric hung

in loose folds and used for clothing

or decoration driftwood : wood that drifts up from

the sea

fitful: coming now and then
furiously (fü'ri us lý): madly
ghosts (gõsts): spirits
loosed (loost) : uncontrolled
scud (skūd): run swiftly
shroud : a wrapping for the dead
stanch (stånch): firm
sullen (súl'In): cross, sulky
vessels (věs'selz): ships
wroth (rôth): angry, fierce


1. If you did not know, how could you tell from the poem what the sandpiper is ? 2. What picture does the first stanza give? The second ? 3. Who are the only creatures on the lonely beach? 4. What things show that a storm is coming ? 5. Where will the poet be to-night during the storm? 6. Where will the bird be? 7. Will it be safe and warm ? 8. What does the last sentence in the poem mean? 9. How are the rhymes arranged in this poem? 10. Which lines sound best to you? Which do you like best?




Into the sunshine,

Full of the light,
Leaping and flashing,

From morn till night;
Into the moonlight,

Whiter than snow,
Waving so flower-like

When the winds blow;
Into the starlight,

Rushing in spray,
Happy at midnight,

Happy by day;
Ever in motion,

Blithesome and cheery
Still climbing heavenward,

Never aweary ;
Glad of all weathers,

Still seeming best,
Upward or downward,

Motion thy rest;



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