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In a castle in the Sea
Dwelt a maiden dark and free
Who was born amid the madding billows moan
Who was born amid a strife
That did sadden all her life
The strife between the waters and the foam

Aye she kissed the aged rocks
That were swarthy as her locks
Aye she whispered to the midnight in her woe
Aye the sea-gulls heard her moan
As she shuddered there alone
As she paced the horrid caverns to and fro.

Yet she was no mermaid fair
And she had no golden hair
Hers was but a dark and quivering little face
Hers a timid little heart
That could love and that could smart
That could feer the might of storm that moved apace

O the storm was fierce and free
O the fury of the sea
O the mad and mighty anthem of the deep.
How the waters and the foam
Battled soreaming o'er her home
Till the weary little maiden fell asleep.

Then she saw the mighty form
That was moving o'er the storm
Then she heard the trumpet summons 'round her roll
Then she knew the dread behest
Come from out the crimson west
And she clasped her little hands about her soul -

And she left her ocean home
And she rose upon the foam
And all tremblingly rebuked the angry wave -
And she died beneath the moon
Softly sinking in a swoon
And the billows murmur idly by her grave.

Written by W.E.B. Du Bois (1868-1963)


W.E.B. Du Bois Poets Page