Nothing of him that doth fade

But doth suffer a sea-change…


Down there the fathom worker

Cleans a universe of sand,

Whitening bones, blurring wood

With weed and merhair strands

Our assiduous, unfailing tide

Washing the island away

And flooding Prospero’s cove.

Now all who were shore-born

Will leave in their boats. ‘Good sea’

Will be their greeting, temper

Of the moon their government.

Into the water they ease the old

To look for ancestry bleached

In grave-pools, anenome men.

From the string of abandoned boats

The young dive down to sacrifice

The swaying stubble of a forest

Will be their dark adventure:

White and green bodies met for

Sea marriage and sea justice,

And counsellors uttering bubbles.

Down in the slow-moving cold

Sway the grottoes of gods.

Above, the wave-pushed wreaths

And the dazzling stare of the sun

In his empty, shadowless temple.