She Would Welcome Old Tribulations

I see a fresh-cheeked figure,
Rising but three feet high,
Shrink on the stony track here
From the sea-swell lifting nigh:
The little one is I.
Ah, could the time come back here,
Shrinking and all, I cry!

I see the bathing woman,
Sturdy and stout and browned:
She swings me by the shoulder,
And flouts my gasps, half-drowned;
O now for that swishing sound,
The sea's slap, cold and colder;
Could it again come round!

I pause beside these places,
Under no eye, but free;
I have no childish terror
Of hands to capture me
By discipline's decree;
I am not chid for error,
Yet—could it once more be!

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