Saturday, October 4, 2008

On Burnham Beach

The sand is mud and it's a struggle
to reach the sea
it departs fast here
and returns slower

Those who tread this path
will sink in mire before
they reach the cool water

and those who're in
the Channel
are swept to the west

Stranded in Bridgwater Bay
there's no causeway here
so foot by foot
they press to the shore
losing ankles, thighs
and waist in the
clawing estuary
they can move no more
and will not rise
when the water surges

Oh i'd tumble in crashing waves
turn, tide, turn,
turn again to the shore
i'd ride on your surf
drift on the current
fall from a board
somersault in these
Somerset waters
float on the swell
taste your salt

Lift me from this sand
i can't reach your water
and can't wait for it
to come to me

Let every day be spring
when the Easter tide rises high
freeing all from beach
and estuary
let the Severn's roll take me onward
past Hinkley and Watchet
to Minehead, Porlock
where the sea's magnificent
against cliff and rock
the lights of Wales
shine like stars
and Burnham's mud is no more

Tom Rudge, Devon
Copyright: By application

Last by this author

On Dover Beach

The sea is calm tonight.
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand;
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.

Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the Aegaean, and it brought
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery; we
Find also in the sound a thought,
Hearing it by this distant northern sea.

The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.

Matthew Arnold