As if by foes behind them hotly prest,
The pale battalions of the houses stand
Upon the utmost verge of the dark land,
And look for help to rise beyond the west,
Where the sun sinks blood-crimson; but the crest
Of wave on wave falls sullen on the strand,
Faints into foam that dies, and still no hand
Is near to give the routed army rest.
There as I gazed I heard between the foam
And those brown cavernous cliffs, that split the bay,
And swirl the rising waters either way,
That happiest sound of children, spade on spade,
Patting the mimic castles they had made,
And fear gave place to peace, and joy, and home.
(Sonnets Round the Coast, p. 43)