Dread expectation seals our open lips:
A hundred hammers fall, their work is done;
Out from the keel the busy craftsmen run,
The tender riband that a child’s hand snips,
Looses the giant down the groaning slips,
And, with a thrill of life through every ton,
It leaves behind a rift of sky and sun,
And plunges seaward, mightiest of ships.
A toy, the ponderous anchor leapt and ploughed,
But ere the smoking of its passage died,
I saw the breakers turn and toss ashore
The flotsam of its cradle-timbers proud,
Prelude of wreck, indignant that it bore
Another burden laid upon the tide.
(Sonnets Round the Coast, p. 79)