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The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


"The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls" is a poem is about how when we go through life, there are certain things no matter how small or seemingly irrelevant aspects which have an impact on our life and shape who we are. Life continues on its path, no matter who we are. And someday, we will all die. Soon after, our mark on this earth will be gone forever.

This poem consists of three stanzas with five lines each for a total of eighteen lines. Each stanza has the rhyme scheme AABBA.


The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls

The tide rises, the tide falls,
The twilight darkens, the curlew calls;
Along the sea-sands damp and brown
The traveller hastens toward the town,
And the tide rises, the tide falls.

Darkness settles on roofs and walls,
But the sea, the sea in the darkness calls;
The little waves, with their soft, white hands,
Efface the footprints in the sands,
And the tide rises, the tide falls.

The morning breaks; the steeds in their stalls
Stamp and neigh, as the hostler calls;
The day returns, but nevermore
Returns the traveller to the shore,
And the tide rises, the tide falls.

Published in Poems on Slavery in 1842.

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