- Year Published: 1913
- Language: English
- Country of Origin: United States of America
- Source: Dunbar, P.L. (1913). The Complete Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar. New York: Dodd, Mead, and Company.
- Flesch–Kincaid Level: 6.5
- Word Count: 119
Dunbar, P. (1913). The Mystic Sea. Lyrics of the Hearthside (Lit2Go Edition). Retrieved June 24, 2021, from
Dunbar, Paul Laurence. "The Mystic Sea." Lyrics of the Hearthside. Lit2Go Edition. 1913. Web. <>. June 24, 2021.
Paul Laurence Dunbar, "The Mystic Sea," Lyrics of the Hearthside, Lit2Go Edition, (1913), accessed June 24, 2021,.
The smell of the sea in my nostrils,
The sound of the sea in mine ears;
The touch of the spray on my burning face,
Like the mist of reluctant tears.
The blue of the sky above me,
The green of the waves beneath;
The sun flashing down on a gray–white sail
Like a scimitar from its sheath.
And ever the breaking billows,
And ever the rocks’ disdain;
And ever a thrill in mine inmost heart
That my reason cannot explain.
So I say to my heart, “Be silent,
The mystery of time is here;
Death’s way will be plain when we fathom the main,
And the secret of life be clear.”