What ancient sins of your abuse

       Has from your mountained lips flowed down

Your river throats, and joined your silent

       Sea-splattered shore,

              Where once the Vikings landed,

              And gave to you some semblance

              Of an old barbaric law.

What was the reason for your silent swim

       That plucked you from the ocean’s endless floor

And flung your naked head into this world, and

       Brought the men to touch your whitened, burning sand;

              And fling their naked heads

              Toward the sky above your soiled soul,

              And touch the oar-struck, hallowed Helgoland.

So now you stand in the warring wind

       And toss your conscience to its bloodied wing,

And where once you ruled as king, you only now

       Command the creaming foam, and watch its pilgrims flying wild.

              You stand,

              Nature’s lone

              Unwinding child.