I look at her, she at the sea,
to where the waters break and hiss.
The mist dissolves; my memory
contains no hour to rival this.
On one broad flank the white cliffs rise,
old, gentle, with a fringe of green.
We talk with tongues of different size,
but not of things that might have been.
On coral bones and iron hills
the cataclysmic centuries
compressed their slow and certain ills
to bring us vistas calm as these.
But our ambit, of our choice,
to such great matters does not range.
With steady eye and quiet voice
we speak of things that do not change.