Issue 17, Autumn-Winter 1957
We walked on it, in the very flesh
No different only colder, as was
The sea itself. It was simple as that.
Only, the wind would not have it, would not
Have it: the whiteness at last
Bearing us up where we would go. Screamed
With lungs we would never have guessed at,
Shrieked round us, whipping up the cold crust,
Lashing the rigid swell into dust. It would
Find the waves for us, or freeze out
The mortal flaw in us; then we might stay.
And it was right: it was not any light
From heaven that hurt our eyes, but
The whiteness that we could not bear. It
Turned bloody in our carnal eyes. Virtues
That had borne us thus far turned on us, peopling
The lashed plains of our minds with hollow voices
Out of the snouted masks of beasts. Their
Guts would feed on God, they said. But danger
Had given shape, stiffening shape, to our
Pride, and that sustained us in silence
As we went over that screaming silence.