O'er its bare face the slant rays pass
And gild it with a tender glow,
Leaving no image on the grass,
Of rocky crag or greenwood bough;
The crescent line of downs alone
Hath eastward a broad shadow thrown,
And the poor cotter's lowly roof,
From angry spring-tides held aloof
By the turfed mound his hands have reared*
Above the reach of foe so feared,
In lengthening lines fantastic drawn.
Lies pictured on the sea-washed lawn;
While flocks, slow drawing toward each thatch,
Still eager, their scant pasture snatch.
His homeward path the peasant treads,
His children gather at his knee.
Their slender board the mother spreads —
Here all is peace and poverty.
* The inhabitants of these tide-islands are obliged to erect their humble
dwellings on artificial mounds raised above the reach of high-water.