Moveless of wing, as if by spell suspended,
About the ledges where their eggs are laid
The sea-mews hung, of no alarms afraid,
So well had height and depth their homes defended.
Yet with a wailing that was never ended
Far out to sea was lamentation made,
And, trembling up the cliffs, shade after shade
Like ghosts in grief ascended and descended.
It seemed as if the cries of all the pain
The travelling earth has felt, were there expressed;
The tortured rocks were vocal with dismay:
As if all storms that ever wracked the main
Were finding utterance in the sea-bird’s breast,
And sudden sorrow had possessed the bay.
(Sonnets Round the Coast, p. 105)