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Witness

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Written by Eavan Boland

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 Against the enormous rocks of a rough coast
The ocean rams itself in pitched assault
And spastic rage to which there is no halt;
Foam-white brigades collapse; but the huge host

Has infinite reserves; at each attack
The impassive cliffs look down in gray disdain
At scenes of sacrifice, unrelieved pain,
Figured in froth, aquamarine and black.
Something in the blood-chemistry of life, Unspeakable, impressive, undeterred, Expresses itself without needing a word In this sea-crazed Empedoclean Strife.
It is a scene of unmatched melancholy, Weather of misery, cloud cover of distress, To which there are not witnesses, unless One counts the briny, tough and thorned sea holly.


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