And Southward Dreams The Sea

Charles H. Davis

“The hills look over on the South, / And southward dreams the sea; / And with the sea-breeze hand in hand / Came innocence and she.” This fragment from Francis Thompson’s poem “Daisy” inspired Charles H. Davis as he watched clouds float over Long Island Sound, past his home in Mystic, Connecticut.

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And Southward Dreams The Sea, Charles H. Davis, (Amesbury, Massachusetts, 1856–1933, Mystic, Connecticut), undated, Oil on canvas, 29 in. x 36 in. (73.66 cm x 91.44 cm), Bequest of Edwin C. Shaw, 1955.85

Davis studied this particular stretch of sky for nearly forty years, having moved to Mystic specifically because of its picturesque landscapes.

In this painting his lasting and thorough attentiveness paid off with clouds that are not simply white, but also gray, blue and violet as sunlight streams through them. Like the woman who provoked Francis Thompson’s poem, Davis’s clouds are full of gentle personality and seem to move “with the sea-breeze hand in hand.”

Do you have a place where you spend time over and over again, so that you know it in complete detail? What makes that place special to you?