Let the sea beat its thin torn hands
In anguish against the shore,
Let it moan
Between headland and cliff;
Let the sea shriek out its agony
Across waste sands and marshes,
And clutch great ships,
Tearing them plate from steel plate
In reckless anger;
Let it break the white bulwarks
Of harbour and city;
Let it sob and scream and laugh
In a sharp fury,
With white salt tears
Wet on its writhen face;
Ah! let the sea still be mad
And crash in madness among the shaking rocks—
For the sea is the cry of our sorrow.

This poem is in the public domain.

                     (Outpost Duty)

The long autumn grass beneath my body
Soaks my clothes in dew;
Where my knees press into the ground
I can feel the damp earth.

In my nostrils is a smell of crushed grass,
Wet pine-cones and bark.

Through the bronze pine trunks
Glitters a silver segment of road.

Interminable squadrons of silver and grey horses
Pace in long ranks the blank fields of heaven.

There is no sound;
The wind hisses gently through the pine-needles;
The flutter of a finch’s wings about my head
Is violent as distant thunder,
And the shrill flight of a gnat
Sounds loud and clear.

I am “to fire at the enemy column
After it has passed”—
But my rifle (loaded with “blank”)
Lies untouched before me,
My spirit follows the gliding clouds
And my lips murmur of the mother of beauty
Standing breast-high in golden broom
Among the English pine-woods!

This poem is in the public domain.