Child of the Sea

Model: Lianna Nakashima

SHE crawls to the cliff and plays on a brink

Where every eye but her own would shrink;

No music she hears but the billow’s noise,

And shells and weeds are her only toys.

No lullaby can the mother find

To sing her to rest like the moaning wind;

And the louder it wails and the fiercer it sweeps,

The deeper she breathes and the sounder she sleeps.

And now her wandering feet can reach

The rugged tracks of the desolate beach;

Creeping about like a Triton imp,

To find the haunts of the crab and shrimp.

She clings, with none to guide or help,

To the furthest ridge of slippery kelp;

And her bold heart glows while she stands and mocks

The seamew’s cry on the jutting rocks.

Few years have wan’d — and now she stands

Bareheaded on the shelving sands.

A boat is moor’d, but her young hands cope

Right well with the twisted cable rope;

She frees the craft, he kisses the tide;

The girl has climb’d his beaten side:

He drifts — he floats — she shouts with glee;

Her soul hath claim’d its right on the sea.

’T is vain to tell her the howling breath

Rides over the waters with wreck and death:

She ’ll say there ’s more of fear and pain

On the plague-ridden earth than the storm-lash’d main.

’T would be as wise to spend thy power

In trying to lure the bee from the flower,

The lark from the sky, or the worm from the grave,

As in weaning the Sea-Child from the wave.

Witten by ElizaCook