Martin Robertson

Now and Then

[White foam sweeps]

White foam sweeps along the grey-brown shore

from grey-green sea under a grey-blue sky,

Low bright sun in the south, and from the north

a steady wind blows cold and colourlessly.

A child’s children play by the shifting run

of white water, where children played their mother

played as a child; where she and I, young,

walked together, in love with one another.

Our children, grandchildren; your sea, your land;

our good love in its best time, here, now is

with me warmly; and in that glow I find

the image of you with less pain and more peace.

And you, my warm love now, it’s our love that melts

the ice-cap on that love—its living force

shifts into proportion resentments, guilts.

And oh I pray it can do the same for yours.

But death, though it froze the guilts, the resentments,

is easier accepted than a living trouble.

I don’t know how to help you, but our intent

is firm as our love, and perhaps we shall be able.