In The Shallows

Edith Nesbit

Among the shallows where the sand
Is golden and the waves are small,
I love to lie, and to my hand
How many little treasures fall!

What shells and seaweed grace the shore,
What happy birds on happy wings,
And for companions, what a store
Of humble, happy, living things!

Yet the sea's depths are also mine,
And in the old days I used to dive
Into the caves, where corals shine
And where the shimmering mer-folk live.

I am the master of the sea
In deeps where fairy flowers uncurl;
That treasure-house belongs to me,
Those amber halls, those stairs of pearl.

But now thereto I go no more,
Because of all the argosies,
Deep sunk upon the ocean floor,
Where all the world's lost treasure lies.

Where loveless laughter curls the lips
Of wild sea creatures at their sport
About the bones of noble ships,
My ships, that never came to port.

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