Full Tide


THE wearying shore
Fought inch by inch,
Back to the cliff
Against the advancing sea.
And more and more,
Yet did not flinch:
White teeth against reef
The waves snapped ceaselessly.

The savage spray
Rose ever higher,
The narrowing shore
Swallowed by rapacious main;
Its onward way,
Quick with desire,
Grasped more and more,
Coming again and again.

Slowly but sure
The sandy stretch died,
The stones disappeared
In the flowing ocean’s path.
The pebbles grew fewer,
Overcome by the tide –
‘Twas as I feared,
Nothing could stay it wrath.

There is no rest,
No respite given,
Relentless power
Drives the great billows on.
Their only quest,
Their only heaven
Is the proud hour
When war with shore is won.

The tide at length
Will gain its prize,
And, fury sped,
Awhile will sleep.
But waning strength
Saps its supplies;
It turns its head
And back begins to creep.

31. 12. 1927