The City and the Sea

The panting City cried to the Sea,
“I am faint with heat,—Oh breathe on me!”

And the Sea said, “Lo, I breathe! but my breath
To some will be life, to others death!”

As to Prometheus, bringing ease
In pain, come the Oceanides,

So to the City, hot with the flame
Of the pitiless sun, the east wind came

It came from the heaving breast of the deep,
Silent as dreams are, and sudden as sleep.

Life-giving, death-giving, which will it be;
O breath of the merciful, merciless Sea?
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