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Witness

 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.

Poem by Eavan Boland
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