Crossing Brooklyn Ferry
How we cite our quotes:
Clouds of the west! sun there half an hour high! I see you also face to face. (line 2)
The poem begins a half an hour before sunset. If you follow the imagery of light and shadow, you'll notice that the poem seems to grow darker as it goes along.
And you that shall cross from shore to shore years hence, are more to me, and more in my meditations, than you might suppose. (line 5)
The speaker isn't one to "live for the moment," as they say. Or maybe he is living for the moment – two hundred years from now. He thinks a lot about the future, and about what kind of people will be making the same crossing as he.
Fifty years hence, others will see them as they cross, the sun half an hour high,
A hundred years hence, or ever so many hundred years hence, others will see them,
Will enjoy the sunset, the pouring in of the flood- tide, the falling back to the sea of the ebb-tide. (lines 17-19)
Continuity is a big concern in this poem. It gives the speaker comfort to know that things will proceed more or less in the same way for all time. Same sunset, same tides, same angry commuters trying to get home after a long day at the foundry. Okay, maybe not the last one.