The Sandpiper

Original Text: 
Our Young Folks: An Illustrated Magazine for Boys and Girls, 1 (Feb. 1865): 84-85. Facsimile in Yankee Doodle's Literary Sampler of Prose, Poetry, & Pictures Being an Anthology of Diverse Works Published for the Edification and/or Entertainment of Young Readers in America Before 1900, Selected from the Rare Book Collections of the Library of Congress and Introduced by Virginia Haviland and Margaret N. Coughlan (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1974): 333. Z 1232 H38 1974 Robarts Library.
2    One little sandpiper and I,
3And fast I gather, but by bit,
4    The scattered drift-wood, bleached and dry.
5The wild waves reach their hands for it,
6    The wild wind raves, the tide runs high,
7As up and down the beach we flit,
8    One little sandpiper and I.
9Above our heads the sullen clouds
10    Scud, black and swift, across the sky:
11Like silent ghosts in misty shrouds
12    Stand out the white light-houses high.
13Almost as far as eye can reach
14    I see the close-reefed vessels fly,
15As fast we flit along the beach,
16    One little sandpiper and I.
17I watch him as he skims along,
18    Uttering his sweet and mournful cry;
19He starts not at my fitful song,
21He has no thought of any wrong,
22    He scans me with a fearless eye;
23Stanch friends are we, well tried and strong,
24    The little sandpiper and I.
25Comrade, where wilt thou be to-night,
26    When the loosed storm breaks furiously?
27My drift-wood fire will burn so bright!
28    To what warm shelter canst thou fly?
29I do not fear for thee, though wroth
30    The tempest rushes through the sky;
31For are we not God's children both,
32    Thou, little sandpiper, and I?


1] lonely: "narrow" in Thaxter's Stories and Poems for Children (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1911): 113. Back to Line
20] Nor: "Or" in 1911. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 2000.