R. S. Thomas, “Within Sound of the Sea”

R. S. Thomas, “Within Sound of the Sea”

I have a desire to walk on the shore,
To visit the caged beast whose murmurings
Kept me awake. What does it mean
That I have the power to do this
All day long, if I wish to?
I know what thoughts will arise,
What questions. They have done so before,
Unanswered. It is in the freedom
To go or not to I exist;
To balance all the exhilaration
Of brisk moments upon the sand
With the knowledgeable hours that my books
Give me. Between their pages
The beast sleeps and never looks out
Through the print’s bars. Have I been wise
In the past, letting my nostrils
Plan my day? That salt scrubbing
Left me unclean. Am I wise now,
With all this pain in the air,
To keep my room, reading perhaps
Of that Being whose will is our peace?

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