Under the Surface


On the surface, foam and roar,
Restless heave and passionate dash,
Shingle rattle along the shore,
Gathering boom and thundering crash.

Under the surface, soft green light,
A hush of peace and an endless calm,
Winds and waves, from a choral height,
Falling sweet as a far-off psalm.

On the surface, swell and swirl,
Tossing weed and drifting waif,
Broken spars that the mad waves whirl,
Where wreck-watching rocks they chafe.

Under the surface, loveliest forms,
Feathery fronds with crimson curl,
Treasures too deep for raid of storms,
Delicate coral and hidden pearl.


On the surface, lilies white,
A painted skiff with a singing crew,
Sky-reflections soft and bright,
Tremulous crimson, gold, and blue.

Under the surface, life in death,
Slimy tangle and oozy moans,
Creeping things with watery breath,
Blackening roots and whitening bones.

On the surface, a shining reach,
A crystal couch for moonbeams rest,
Starry ripples along the beach,
Sunset songs from the breezy west.

Under the surface, glooms and fears,
Treacherous currents swift and strong,
Deafening rush in the drowning ears,—
Have ye rightly read my song?
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