Verse > Anthologies > Louis Untermeyer, ed. > Modern British Poetry
Louis Untermeyer, ed. (1885–1977). Modern British Poetry.  1920.
Frances Cornford. 1886–
138. Preëxistence
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         5
  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,  10
Like little people I had found 
  Sitting among the sands. 
The grains of sand so shining-small 
  Soft through my fingers ran; 
The sun shone down upon it all,  15
  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.  20
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,  25
  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,  30
And in my fingers long and brown 
  The little pebbles lay. 

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