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"The Sandpiper" by Celia Thaxter

"The Sandpiper" by Celia Thaxter

"The Sandpiper" by Celia Thaxter

Across the narrow beach we flit,
One little sandpiper and I,
And fast I gather, bit by bit,
The scattered driftwood bleached and dry.
The wild waves reach their hands for it,
The wild wind raves, the tide runs high,
As up and down the beach we flit, —
One little sandpiper and I.
Above our heads the sullen clouds
Scud black and swift across the sky;
Like silent ghosts in misty shrouds
Stand out the white lighthouses high.
Almost as far as eye can reach
I see the close-reefed vessels fly,
As fast we flit along the beach, —
One little sandpiper and I.
I watch him as he skims along,
Uttering his sweet and mournful cry.
He starts not at my fitful song,
Or flash of fluttering drapery.
He has no thought of any wrong;
He scans me with a fearless eye.
Stanch friends are we, well tried and strong,
The little sandpiper and I.
Comrade, where wilt thou be to-night,
When the loosed storm breaks furiously?
My driftwood fire will burn so bright!
To what warm shelter canst thou fly?
I do not fear for thee, though wroth
The tempest rushes through the sky:
For are we not God’s children both,
Thou, little sandpiper, and I?

The Poems of Celia Thaxter (1914) | Celia Thaxter (1836–1894)

Online Poetry Anthology

  • What is the point of the poem?
  • Memorize the poem. Students may find this easier if they copy it verse-by-verse as they memorize.
  • Draw and illustrate the poem.
  • Learn more about the sandpiper.

Additional Resources
10 Ways to Use Notebooking: #2 Copybook

10 Ways to Use Notebooking: #2 Copybook
Resources for copying the poem.

Resources for memorizing the poem.

Information from Cornell.

How to Draw Shore Birds
Draw a sandpiper using this excellent instruction page from artist and educator John Muir Laws.

Nests & Eggs: Spotted Sandpiper

Nests & Eggs: Spotted Sandpiper
Part of our free book study series!

Free Nature Studies: Hunting Birds With Eyes & Camera 
More from the bird portion of our free nature studies.

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