Louis Lavater

After the Storm

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As children vex a lion in his cage
Themselves secure, the doorway barred and locked,
So, Ocean! have I railed at thee, have mocked
With gibe and jeer thine ineffectual rage.
Ah, I was wrong! All those in every age
Who, weeping, at their prison-bars have knocked
I heard again when this huge bastion rocked
Before thee; and I learned their parentage.

And now thou’rt spent. No more a giant’s hand
Buffets the sounding rocks, but piteously
Thou rangest the low shore with feeble fret.
O God, it wellnigh breaks my heart to see
Those foamy fingers plucking at the strand
Like a sick woman’s at her coverlet!

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Louis Lavater