A Florida Ghost

Down mildest shores of milk-white sand,
By cape and fair Floridian bay,
Twixt billowy pines — a surf asleep on land —
And the great Gulf at play,

Past far-off palms that filmed to nought,
Or in and out the cunning keys
That laced the land like fragile patterns wrought
To edge old broideries,

The sail sighed on all day for joy,
The prow each pouting wave did leave
All smile and song, with sheen and ripple coy,
Till the dusk diver Eve

Brought up from out the brimming East
The oval moon, a perfect pearl.
In that large lustre all our haste surceased,
The sail seemed fain to furl,

The silent steersman landward turned,
And ship and shore set breast to breast.
Under a palm wherethrough a planet burned
We ate, and sank to rest.

Sidney Lanier, ‘A Florida Ghost’ (1877), first five stanzas 

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