The Sea Around Us


Chapter 14

Published 1951

Rachel Carson

The sea lies all about us.

The commerce of all lands must cross it.

The very winds that move over lands

have cradled on its broad expanse

and seek ever to return to it. 

The continents themselves

dissolve and pass to the sea

in grain after grain of eroded land.

So the rains that rose from it

return again in rivers.

In its mysterious past it encompasses

all the dim origins of life

and receives in the end

after, it may be,

many transformations,

the dead husks of the same life.

For all return to the sea — to Oceanus,

the ocean river,

like the ever-flowing stream of time,

the beginning and the end.