SEA GARDEN SEA ROSE Rose, harsh rose,marred and with stint of petals,meagre flower, thin,sparse of leaf, more preciousthan a wet rosesingle on a stem—you are caught in the drift. Stunted, with small leaf,you are flung on the sand,you are liftedin the crisp sandthat drives in the wind. Can the spice-rosedrip such acrid fragrancehardened in a leaf?
THE HELMSMAN O be swift—we have always known you wanted us. We fled inland with our flocks,we pastured them in hollows,cut off from the windand the salt track of the marsh. We worshipped inland—we stepped past wood-flowers,we forgot your tang,we brushed wood-grass. We wandered from pine-hillsthrough oak and scrub-oak tangles,we broke hyssop and bramble,we caught flower and new bramble-fruitin our hair: we laughedas each branch whipped back,we tore our feet in half buried rocksand knotted roots and acorn-cups. We forgot—we worshipped,we parted green from green,we sought further thickets,we dipped our anklesthrough leaf-mould and earth,and wood and wood-bank enchanted us— and the feel of the clefts in the bark,and the slope between tree and tree—and a slender path strung field to fieldand wood to woodand hill to hilland the forest after it. We forgot—for a momenttree-resin, tree-bark,sweat of a torn branchwere sweet to the taste. We were enchanted with the fields,the tufts of coarse grassin the shorter grass—we loved all this. But now, our boat climbs—hesitates—drops—climbs—hesitates—crawls back—climbs—hesitates—O be swift—we have always known you wanted us.
THE SHRINE ("she watches over the sea") I Are your rocks shelter for ships—have you sent galleys from your beach,are you graded—a safe crescent—where the tide lifts them back to port—are you full and sweet,tempting the quietto depart in their trading ships? Nay, you are great, fierce, evil—you are the land-blight—you have tempted menbut they perished on your cliffs. Your lights are but dank shoals,slate and pebble and wet shellsand seaweed fastened to the rocks. It was evil—evilwhen they found you,when the quiet men looked at you—they sought a headlandshaded with ledge of clifffrom the wind-blast. But you—you are unsheltered,cut with the weight of wind—you shudder when it strikes,then lift, swelled with the blast—you sink as the tide sinks,you shrill under hail, and soundthunder when thunder sounds.You are useless—when the tides swirlyour boulders cut and wreckthe staggering ships. II You are useless,O grave, O beautiful,the landsmen tell it—I have heard—you are useless. And the wind sounds with thisand the seawhere rollers shot with bluecut under deeper blue. O but stay tender, enchantedwhere wave-lengths cut youapart from all the rest—for we have found you,we watch the splendour of you,we thread throat on throat of freesiafor your shelf....