Sea Gods by Hilda Doolittle
I They say there is no hope- sand-drift-rocks-rubble of the sea- the broken hulk of a ship, hung with shreds of rope, pallid under the cracked pitch. they say there is no hope to conjure you- no whip of the toungue to anger you- no hate of words you must rise to refute. They say you are twisted by the sea, you are cut apart, by wave-break upon wave-break, that you are misshapen by the sharp rocks, broken by the rasp and after-rasp. That you are cut, torn, mangled, torn by the stress and beat, no stronger than the strips of sand along your ragged beach. II But we bring violets, great masses-single, sweet, wood-violets, stream-violets, violets from a wet marsh. Violets in clumps from hills, tufts with earth at the roots violets tugged from rocks, blue violets, moss, cliff, river-violets. Yellow violets’ gold, burnt with a rare tint- violets like red ash among tufts of grass. We bring deep-purple bird-foot violets. We bring the hyacinth-violet, sweet, bare, chill to the touch- and violets whiter than the in-rush of your own white surf. III For you will come, you will yet haunt men in ships, you will trail across the fringe of strait and circle the jagged rocks. You will trail across the rocks and wash them with your salt, you will curl between sand-hills- you will thunder along the cliff- break-retreat-get fresh strength- gather and pour weight along the beach. You will draw back, and the ripple on the sand-shelf will be witness of your track. O privet-white, you will paint the lintel of wet sand with froth. You will bring myrrh-bark and drift laurel-wood from hot coasts! when you hurl high-high- we will answer with a shout. For you will come, you will come, you will answer our taut hearts, you will break the lie of men’s thoughts, and cherish and shelter us.