See the children with quick eyes1
Seeking many an ocean prize2
Storm-tossed weeds of red and green,3
Rare sea-shells of varied sheen.4
Here a patch of silver sand5
Strews the pebbly gleaming strand ;6
There a tiny brooklet free7
Ripples on to meet the sea.8
In this cave the clear tide-pool9
Gleams within its haven cool,10
By the sea-weeds curtained fair11
From the sun’s bright noontide glare.12
In its halls of sand and shell,13
Ocean’s treasures safely dwell,14
Though each day the wild sea-foam15
Thunders o’er their caverned home16
Safely dwell—till tiny hands17
Part the clinging, shining strands18
Of the sea-weed’s graceful screen,19
Till each sheltered nook is seen.20
Steeled by childhood’s careless joy,21
All its beauties they destroy ;22
Fright the tiny elves who glide23
Swiftly round the cavern’s side ;24
Scatter with unmeasured shock25
All the inmates of the rock26
Some so small, that mortal sight27
Cannot mark their passage light ;28
Stir the tide-pool’s sandy floor,29
Sullying its placid shore ;30
Tear from off its fringe of rock31
Shells and weeds with ruthless shock32
Till the spoilers fly the cave,33
Warned by th’ approaching wave,34
As the proud and mighty Sea35
Comes to set her children free.36