Elinor Morton Wylie

(7 September 1885 – 16 December 1928 / Somerville, New Jersey)

Sea Lullaby - Poem by Elinor Morton Wylie

The old moon is tarnished
With smoke of the flood,
The dead leaves are varnished
With colour like blood.

A treacherous smiler
With teeth white as milk,
A savage beguiler
In sheathings of silk

The sea creeps to pillage,
She leaps on her prey;
A child of the village
Was murdered today.

She came up to meet him
In a smooth golden cloak,
She choked him and beat him
to death, for a joke.

Her bright locks were tangled,
She shouted for joy
With one hand she strangled
A strong little boy.

Now in silence she lingers
Beside him all night
To wash her long fingers
In silvery light.


Comments about Sea Lullaby by Elinor Morton Wylie

  • Alem Hailu G/kristos (7/30/2017 7:34:00 AM)


    A nicely penned piece I appreciate the creative art! (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Alem Hailu G/kristos (7/30/2017 7:33:00 AM)


    I appreciate the creative art it is superb. (Report) Reply

  • Terry Craddock (1/2/2017 6:46:00 AM)


    Walk Warm Water Lull Tide Beaches

    walk tantalizing lull in the tide
    peace is wave rocked into souls
    walk warm wave womb sands

    Copyright © Terence George Craddock
    Inspired by the poem 'Sea Lullaby' by the poet Elinor Morton Wylie.
    Dedicated to the poet Elinor Morton Wylie.
    (Report) Reply

  • Terry Craddock (1/2/2017 6:45:00 AM)


    Siren Summer Song In Windswept Tide

    siren tantalizing lull in windswept tide
    mica glitters in wave light kissed sands
    summer sun is sown golden memories

    Copyright © Terence George Craddock
    Inspired by the poem 'Sea Lullaby' by the poet Elinor Morton Wylie.
    Dedicated to the poet Elinor Morton Wylie.
    (Report) Reply

  • Terry Craddock (1/2/2017 6:45:00 AM)


    Mica Sands Silicate Treasure Trove Passages

    silicate sheets flakes sail in home oceans
    silicate sheets flakes journey in sea waves
    silicate sheets flakes treasure trove sands

    Copyright © Terence George Craddock
    Inspired by the poem 'Sea Lullaby' by the poet Elinor Morton Wylie.
    Dedicated to the poet Elinor Morton Wylie.
    (Report) Reply

  • Terry Craddock (1/2/2017 6:44:00 AM)


    Light Glitters On Surface Depths

    light glitters on water wave motions
    light glitters on wave washed mica sands
    silicate sheets stolen from tidal rocks

    Copyright © Terence George Craddock
    Inspired by the poem 'Sea Lullaby' by the poet Elinor Morton Wylie.
    Dedicated to the poet Elinor Morton Wylie.
    (Report) Reply

  • Terry Craddock (1/2/2017 6:44:00 AM)


    Life Mother Salt Saline Womb

    salt saline womb or salt tears sea
    grey sands or white black sands
    waves ripple waves roll shore kiss

    Copyright © Terence George Craddock
    Inspired by the poem 'Sea Lullaby' by the poet Elinor Morton Wylie.
    Dedicated to the poet Elinor Morton Wylie.
    (Report) Reply

  • Terry Craddock (1/2/2017 6:44:00 AM)


    Safe Deceptive Calm Turning Tide

    tame tantalizing lull in turning tide
    ripple rocks beguiles like a lullaby
    safe deceptive calm of still waters

    Copyright © Terence George Craddock
    Inspired by the poem 'Sea Lullaby' by the poet Elinor Morton Wylie.
    Dedicated to the poet Elinor Morton Wylie.
    (Report) Reply

  • Terry Craddock (12/25/2016 3:17:00 PM)


    An Eerie Beauty Is Light Upon Bewitching Waters

    woe woe beware a sea lullaby
    where bewitching sea lures us in
    beach walker swimmer lures in,
    with the light of the full moon
    upon reflective glass waters,
    lures a bewitched small boy in
    with a smooth china plate moon
    smile on walk upon silver waters;

    an invisible cloak hides ripples
    passage bubbles air rising spent life
    hides death unmarked watery grave;
    tide turn was vicious entrapment of prey
    a spider leaping upon a fly in wet webs
    savage glee in claiming a small child's life;

    Copyright © Terence George Craddock
    (Report) Reply

  • Terry Craddock (12/24/2016 8:46:00 PM)


    Grey Sands White Sands Or Black Beach Sands

    the tantalizing lull in the tide
    rocks beguiles like a lullaby
    deceptive calm of still waters

    salt of the womb or salt of sea
    grey sands or white black sands
    waves ripple waves roll in to shore

    light glitters on water wave motions
    light glitters on wave washed mica sands
    silicate sheets stolen from tidal rocks

    silicate sheets flakes sail in home oceans
    silicate sheets flakes journey in sea waves
    silicate sheets flakes treasure trove sands

    the tantalizing lull in windswept tide
    mica glitters in in wave light kissed sands
    in summer sun is sown golden memories

    in the tantalizing lull in the tide
    peace is wave rocked into souls
    walking in warm wave wombs

    Copyright © Terence George Craddock
    Inspired by the poem 'Sea Lullaby' by the poet Elinor Morton Wylie.
    Dedicated to the poet Elinor Morton Wylie.
    (Report) Reply

  • Terry Craddock (12/24/2016 8:46:00 PM)


    Lullaby Tantalizing Lull In The Tide

    the tantalizing lull in the tide
    rocks beguiles like a lullaby
    deceptive calm of still waters

    the sea lures us in
    the beach walkers
    with the light
    of the moon
    upon
    dark waters
    ink night waters
    reflective waters

    who can swim in moonlight
    in night dark river waters
    in summer rivers flowing deep
    who can swim in moonlight
    in warm embrace womb seas
    in depths comfort wave lullabies

    Copyright © Terence George Craddock
    Inspired by the poem 'Sea Lullaby' by the poet Elinor Morton Wylie.
    Dedicated to the poet Elinor Morton Wylie.
    (Report) Reply

  • Terry Craddock (10/16/2014 4:53:00 PM)


    Wow a 'Sea Lullaby' where the sea lures us in, the reader with the light of the moon upon reflective waters, lures a small boy in with a smooth golden cloak then choked him and beat him/ to death, for a joke. The personification of the sea as bright locks... tangled, (as) She shouted for joy/ With one hand she strangled/ A strong little boy illuminates a savage glee in claiming the life of a small child.
    From the opening two stanzas

    The old moon is tarnished
    With smoke of the flood,
    The dead leaves are varnished
    With colour like blood.

    A treacherous smiler
    With teeth white as milk,
    A savage beguiler
    In sheathings of silk

    to the turn and vicious entrapment of prey like a spider leaping upon a fly in a web

    The sea creeps to pillage,
    She leaps on her prey;
    A child of the village
    Was murdered today.

    the poem lures us in with a bewildering choice of themes and visual images. The last lines add other dimensions with the eerie beauty of in the concluding lines

    Now in silence she lingers
    Beside him all night
    To wash her long fingers
    In silvery light.
    (Report) Reply

  • (10/16/2014 3:18:00 PM)


    Perfectly eerie for this fine fall! The artist's form is almost completely unbroken:

    A: 6 syllables
    B: 5 syllables
    C: 6 syllables
    D: 5 syllables

    Bar ump bar rump bar rump,
    Bar ump bee bar ump...

    Artistic license allows the word murdered to be pronounced in 3 syllables, but golden should have been gold to make this poem absolutely form perfect.
    (Report) Reply

  • Willian Menuci (10/16/2014 11:52:00 AM)


    Just lovely!
    Funny how It sounds pleasent to the ears,
    Such a masterpiece!
    (Report) Reply

  • (10/16/2014 8:05:00 AM)


    Fun to read; horrifying energy. I love how the author characterizes the sea and makes it into a human form. Very fascinating and will stick with the reader for quite a long time. (Report) Reply

  • Raluca Mitra (10/16/2014 6:07:00 AM)


    The sea embracing death! Fantastic imagery, indeed. (Report) Reply

  • Aftab Alam Khursheed (10/16/2014 3:16:00 AM)


    As the title sea lullaby...the beauty of keepeth the wrath, the death..death by waves..lovely imagery is very perfect (Report) Reply

  • Brian Jani (5/13/2014 12:46:00 PM)


    Elinor Amazing poetic skills here (Report) Reply

  • (10/16/2013 9:32:00 PM)


    Fantastic imagery; chilling, haunting, puts me on edge; a dangerous beauty! (Report) Reply

  • Mc Donald (10/16/2012 7:35:00 PM)


    Inspired. You should check mine. (Report) Reply

Read all 24 comments »




Read this poem in other languages

What do you think this poem is about?

Read poems about / on: today, silence, child, moon, joy, sea, death, light, night, murder, children



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003



[Report Error]