She crawls in beauty like the night
Of cloudy climes and starless skies;
And as steals across the bight
Salty tears trickle from her eyes
Hiding her eggs away from sight
She the prowling dog denies.
The fuorescent tide washed the beach clean
A darker night was never seen
The wind blew soft and then the clouds it tore:
And the mechanised boats came trawlingTrawling-trawlingThe mechanised boats came trawling, right up to the shore.
April is the cruellest month, breeding
Hatchlings out of dead sand, mixing
Instinct and survival, stirring
Baby ridleys into juvenile frenzy.
Hatchling to right of them,
Hatchling to left of them,
Hatchling behind them
Fumbl’d and founder’d;
Storm’d through the egg shell,
Scrambl’d up while others fell,
They that had jostled so well
Came thro’ the jaws of sand
Up from their incubatory spell,
All that was left of them,
Left of one hundred.
When old age shall this eon waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a fagship to man, to whom thou sayst,
“Beauty is turtle, turtle beauty,” – that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.