There is a version in Kipling’s writing in Notebook 3, one of four handwritten collections of his poems in the Kipling Papers, University of Sussex Library.
A strange theme, echoing Kipling’s frequent suggestion that a beach, on the edge of the sea is a borderland, a place of unease, sad and dangerous. Here the sea has washed a dead body to shore, but the weed, the undersea caves and the limpets on the rock reject it even as food. The limpets suggest sinking it in a quicksand, but in the last verse, almost a repeat of the first, the sea insists that it will lay “this thing” on the rocks.
Notes on the Text
[Verse 2, line 1] laver An edible seaweed with flat green and purple fronds, that turn black.
[Verse 4 line 3] The beasts that feed in me Crabs perhaps, lurking in little caves in the rocks.
©Philip Holberton 2019 All rights reserved