by Amy Lowell

Amy Lowell

From out the dragging vastness of the sea,

Wave-fettered, bound in sinuous, seaweed strands,

He toils toward the rounding beach, and stands

One moment, white and dripping, silently,

Cut like a cameo in lazuli,

Then falls, betrayed by shifting shells, and lands

Prone in the jeering water, and his hands

Clutch for support where no support can be.

So up, and down, and forward, inch by inch,

He gains upon the shore, where poppies glow

And sandflies dance their little lives away.

The sucking waves retard, and tighter clinch

The weeds about him, but the land-winds blow,

And in the sky there blooms the sun of May.