Algy sat on a rock with the Atlantic waves crashing around him, and thought of the neighbour who had just died in mid-life, of Lindsey’s young friend Connor who had died in mid-childhood, and of all those friends and strangers whose lives ended much too soon. Inevitably he was reminded of Tennyson’s famous elegy:
Break, break, break,
On thy cold gray stones, O Sea!
And I would that my tongue could utter
The thoughts that arise in me.
O, well for the fisherman’s boy,
That he shouts with his sister at play!
O, well for the sailor lad,
That he sings in his boat on the bay!
And the stately ships go on
To their haven under the hill;
But O for the touch of a vanish’d hand,
And the sound of a voice that is still!
[Algy is reciting the first three stanzas of Break, Break, Break by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.]