In the Surf.
Here’s an ocean ball-room, come with me and dance a measure,
Trip it, where the little waves are quarrelling for pleasure,
At our feet the rainbow bubbles make a sudden sally,
Quick white foam-flowers bud and blossom in an emerald valley.
Boldly an imperious wave sweeps your feet from under,
Swings you to the right-about booming crystal thunder,
Here a shower of melting pearl gems your floating tresses,
While a sinuous emerald arm whelms you with caresses.
Softly twangs the great sea-harp, smit by airy fingers,
In its song a haunting strain of siren sweetness lingers.
Steel your heart against its lures, beware of its devotion,
Dark and plumbless are the depths of this smiling ocean,
Cold, ah ! cold, their silences would break the heart within you,
Let them woo, these gallant waves, but never let them win you.
“What would you be, you breathing mite, in such a grasp titanic,
Your very being overwhelmed in energies organic?
You with your immortal soul, housed in its crazy dwelling,
Your brain that weighs the stars the while its little hour is knelling.
Get you to the shallows there, go frolic with the bubbles,
They with you are truly kin, full of frothy troubles,
Shining in an amorous sun, full of moment’s laughter
And vital force, then lost to sight, and after? after? after?
Are you, pray, allied to this great pendulum, that swinging
From life to death, from death to life its fated hour is bringing?
Or are you part of the Great Thought, that works unseen behind it,
And shall you through aeons to come evolve — oh ! never mind it,
Turn you to the sun again, feel his touches tender,
Dance among the crested waves, glorying in their splendour,
Take the great sea’s briny kiss, like a lover loyal,
Though he’d slay you — just as soon ! his sepulture is royal.
In his glittering ballroom come with me and dance a measure,
Where the wavelets run amok, delirious with pleasure.
Dive into this emerald cave, foam-flags wave about it,
Oh ! the cruel, hurtling sea, I love it ! love it ! love it !
Agnes L. Storrie. Poems, J. W. Kettlewell, Sydney, 1909, pages 1-3