Friday, 7 July 2017

The Shell

What has the sea swept up?
A Viking oar, long mouldered in the peace
Of grey oblivion? Some dim-burning bowl
Of unmixed gold, from far-off island feasts?
Ropes of old pearls? Masses of ambergris?
Something of elfdom from the ghastly isles
Where white-hot rocks pierce through the flying spindrift?
Or a pale sea-queen, close wound in a net of spells?
Nothing of these. Nothing of antique splendours
That have a weariness about their names:
But--fresh and new, in frail transparency,
Pink as a baby's nail, silky and veined
As a flower petal--this casket of the sea,
One shell.
Mary Webb
Art Josephine Wall

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