by: Frances Cornford

      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
      Played with the pebbles grey;
      The waves came up, the waves went down,
      Must thundering and gay.
      The pebbles, they were smooth and round
      And warm upon my hands,
      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,
      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 today.
      The waves came shining up the sands,
      As here today they shine;
      And in my pre-Pelasgian hands
      The sand was warm and fine.
      I have forgotten whence I came,
      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 today,
      And in my fingers long and brown
      The little pebbles lay.

'Pre-existence' is reprinted from An Anthology of Modern Verse. Ed. A. Methuen. London: Methuen & Co., 1921.



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