Katrina (in his arms).
Sylvan, I have been
So wrencht and fearfully used. It was as if
This being that I live in had become
A savage endless water, wild with purpose
To tire me out and drown me.
Yes, I know:
Like swimming against a mighty will, that wears
The cruelty, the race and scolding spray
Of monstrous passionate water.
Hold me, Sylvan
I’m bruised with my sore wrestling.
Ah, but now
We are not swimmers in this dangerous life.
It cannot beat upon our limbs with surf
Of water clencht against us, nor can waves
Now wrangle with our breath. Out of it we
Are lifted; and henceforward now we are
Sailors travelling in a lovely ship,
The shining sails of it holding a wind
Immortally pleasant, and the malicious sea
Smoothed by a keel that cannot come to wreck.
Katrina. Alas, we must not stay together here. Grannam will come upon us.
Where is she?
Yonder, gathering driftwood for her fire.
There is a little bay not far from here,
The shingle of it a thronging city of flies,
Feeding on the dead weed that mounds the beach;
And the sea hoards there its vain avarice,—
Old flotsam, and decaying trash of ships.
An arm of reef half locks it in, and holds
The bottom of the bay deep strewn with seaweed,
A barn full of the harvesting of storms;
And at full tide, the little hampered waves
Lift up the litter, so that, against the light,
The yellow kelp and bracken of the sea,
Held up in ridges of green water, show
Like moss in agates. And there is no place
In all the coast for wreckage like this bay;
There often will my grannam be, a sack
Over her shoulders, turning up the crust
Of sun-dried weed to find her winter’s warmth.
Sylvan. Is that she coming?
O Sylvan, has she seen us?
Sylvan. What matter if she has?
But it would matter!
Sylvan. Katrina, come with me now! We’ll go together Back to my house.
No, no, not now! I must
Carry my grannam’s load for her: ’tis heavy.
Sylvan. We must not part again.
No, not for long;
For if we do, there will be storms again,
I know; and a fierce reluctance—O, a mad
Tormenting thing!—will shake me.
Then come now!
Katrina. Not now, not now! Look how my poor grannam Shuffles under the weight; she’s old for burdens. I must carry her sack for her.
Katrina. To-night?—O Sylvan! dare I?
Yes, you dare!
You will be knowing I’m outside in the darkness,
And you will come down here and give me yourself
Wholly and forever.