Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, EVENING BY THE SEA, by ALGERNON CHARLES SWINBURNE

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EVENING BY THE SEA, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: It was between the night and day
Last Line: Low places where the rock-fish feed.
Subject(s): Sea; Ocean

It was between the night and day,
The trees looked weary -- one by one
Against the west they seemed to sway,
And yet were steady. The sad sun
In a sick doubt of colour lay
Across the water's belt of dun.
On the weak wind scarce flakes of foam
There floated, hardly borne at all
From the rent edge of water -- some
Between slack gusts the wind let fall,
The white brine could not overcome
That pale grass on the southern wall.
That evening one could always hear
The sharp hiss of the shingle, rent
As each wave settled heavier,
The same rough way. This noise was blent
With many sounds that hurt the air
As the salt sea-wind came and went.
The wind wailed once and was not. Then
The white sea touching its salt edge
Dropped in a slow low sigh: again
The ripples deepened to the ledge,
Across the beach from marsh and fen
Came a faint smell of rotten sedge.
Like a hurt thing that will not die
The sea lay moaning; waifs of weed
Strove thro' the water painfully
Or lay flat, like drenched hair indeed,
Rolled over with the pebbles, nigh
Low places where the rock-fish feed.

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