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CORNFORD, Frances


Pre-Existence

I laid me down upon the shore

And dreamed a little space;

I heard the great waves break and roar;

The sun was on my face.

My idle hands and fingers brown

Played with the pebbles grey;

The waves came up, the waves went down,

Most thundering and gay.

The pebbles, they were smooth and round

And warm upon my hands,

Like little people I had found

Sitting among the sands.

The grains of sands so shining-small

Soft through my fingers ran;

The sun shone down upon it all,

And so my dream began:

How all of this had been before;

How ages far away

I lay on some forgotten shore

As here I lie to-day.

The waves came shining up the sands,

As here to-day they shine;

And in my pre-pelasgian hands

The sand was warm and fine.

I have forgotten whence I came,

Or what my home might be,

Or by what strange and savage name

I called that thundering sea.

I only know the sun shone down

As still it shines to-day,

And in my fingers long and brown

The little pebbles lay.


The Guitarist Tunes Up

With what attentive courtesy he bent

Over his instrument;

Not as a lordly conquerer who could

Command both wire and wood,

But as a man with a loved woman might,

Inquiring with delight

What slight essential things she had to say

Before they started, he and she, to play.