Another, and somewhat different set of sea poems.
(Poem #140) By The Sea
Why does the sea moan evermore? Shut out from heaven it makes its moan, It frets against the boundary shore; All earth's full rivers cannot fill The sea, that drinking thirsteth still. Sheer miracles of loveliness Lie hid in its unlooked-on bed: Anemones, salt, passionless, Blow flower-like; just enough alive To blow and multiply and thrive. Shells quaint with curve, or spot, or spike, Encrusted live things argus-eyed, All fair alike, yet all unlike, Are born without a pang, and die Without a pang, and so pass by.
This is a somewhat disconnected poem - there seems to be a distinct break between the first verse and the rest of it. The first verse seems rather conventional, too - the imagery is neither particularly original, nor particularly well-phrased, and the word 'thirsteth' is enough out of place that it jars. However, the next two verses present a decidedly different slant; a viewpoint more reminiscent of the 'English countryside' class of nature poetry than of most of the sea poems I've read, and very much in keeping with her appreciation of the quieter side of nature. And the last two lines, of course, are pure Rossetti, with the 'go gentle into that good night' theme that characterizes so many of her poems. m. Biography etc: See Minstrels Poem #8