Fenced from the world by cliffs, whereon the
Sucks opal from the redolent sea air,
One way alone the people have to fare,
Closed oft against them by the treach’rous gale.
And one rough sea the folk must ever sail—
The sea of household industry and care—
Whether the boys weave nets or the girls bear
High on their heads, from far, the brimming pail.
Yet still no beck between the Esk and Tees
Runs half so serviceably to the tide,
With such accompaniments of laugh and play,
As Staithes, they stream, where good wives on their
While children splash or mimic at their side,
Wash the sea-stains of labour quite away.
(Sonnets Round the Coast, p. 150)