Shells Along the Beach
I spoke of purple mountains and of amber grain that waves.
And hark, the ring of freedom down a costly road it paves.
Then one day with my students came a pause to hear me preach.
Now they would hear the meaning of these, 'Shells Along the Beach.'
The saddest tale I promised, and to hear can change the man.
I swear I've seen some afterwards that found it hard to stand.
And if my tale will frighten you, I'm never out of reach.
As I commit your memories, these 'Shells Along the Beach.'
No favor'd winds or calming tides where sounds remain the same.
For once we knew the faces, everyone but by their name.
The bravest men that battled say the silence ought to teach.
That all that's left in quiet time are these, 'Shells Along the Beach.'
Thomas Adams's Other Poems
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The Poetaster 2013
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