The Tide

— Goes in and out with its gigantic tread
The tide, a beast fastidious of its bed.
It waddles up like Behemoth, from the Deep,
To search the shelving shallows for its sleep,
Then with a trampling it draws back again...

It teems with hordes for watching fishermen
That wait about the cluttered wharves of the town
Or push out where the nets are studded down...

The pitchforked fish — obscene, white belly up —
Hurled out as worthless (that the gulls may sup
Screaming and wheeling in coveys) lard the drift.

The anchored boats against the current lift
Or lie side-cast on endless levels of sand;

The bay seems here begotten of the land,
The land — of sea and sky!...chaos spawns all!...

Along the ooze primordial creatures sprawl:
Things carrying shells for house; blind lives that put

The body forth, transmuted to a foot;
Flanged, steel-blue sea-worms, ribbons that reach and draw;
Small monsters born of life's first groping law;
Embryons all eye set drifting; creatures rare
That run like clocks in crystal; some, as fair
As beauty's perfect self, whose forms transgress
The general norm of primal ugliness,
Wave sapphire fringes, sail with shining sails,
'Sconce gleaming bodies in laced and exquisite grails....
For the old, blind slime again gets motion here
Where life's first efforts into being peer
Still, and where, naked and raw to wind and sun,
The ravels of the first creation run.
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