Thetis

I

On the paved parapet
you will step carefully
from amber stones to onyx
flecked with violet,
mingled with light,
half showing the sea-grass
and sea-sand underneath,
reflecting your white feet
and the gay strap crimson
as lily-buds of Arion,
and the gold that binds your feet.

II

You will pass
beneath the island disk
(and myrtle-wood,
the carved support of it)
and the white stretch
of its white beach,
curved as the moon crescent
or ivory when some fine hand
chisels it:
when the sun slips
through the far edge,
there is rare amber
through the sea,
and flecks of it
glitter on the dolphin's back
and jewelled halter
and harness and bit
as he sways under it

III

You will pause
where the coral-lily roots
thread amber about
gold grain and pebble of wrought
crystal or purple rock;
green water dark
with the blue from the pools beneath;
and between the bands of water,
each day your feet will tread,
climbing from purple to blue,
from blue to sea-red,
step upon step,
laid crosswise,
uneven, sloping gradually,
then steep and high
to the sun-light overhead.

IV

Should the sun press
too heavy a crown,
should dawn cast
over-much loveliness,
should you tire as you laugh,
running from wave to wave-crest,
gathering the sea-flower to your breast,
you may dive down
to the uttermost sea depth,
where no great fish venture
nor small fish glitter and dart,
only the anemones and flower
of the wild sea-thyme
cover the silent walls
of an old sea-city at rest
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