Sea garden
Hilda (Doolittle) Aldington

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 quiet
to depart in their trading ships?
Nay, you are great, fierce, evil—
you are the land-blight—
you have tempted men
but they perished on your cliffs.
Your lights are but dank shoals,
slate and pebble and wet shells
and seaweed fastened to the rocks.
It was evil—evil
when they found you,
when the quiet men looked at you—
they sought a headland
shaded with ledge of cliff
from 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 sound
thunder when thunder sounds.
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You are useless—
when the tides swirl
your boulders cut and wreck
the staggering ships.