Of the Ebbing and Flowing of the Sea


The sea, which always constant2 ebbs and flows,
Is like the hammer of a clock that3 goes.
For as it coming4 to the notch doth strike,
So water where ’tis empty doth the like.5
For when it flows, water6 is cast out still,                     5
And when it ebbs, runs back that place to fill.

  1. In 1653 this poem is called “Ebbing and Flowing of the Sea”
  2. The sea, which always constant] The Reason the Sea so constant 1653; The Sea, which constant always 1668
  3. that] which 1653
  4. as it coming] when it comes just 1653
  5. where ’tis empty doth the like.] to that empty place doth like. 1653
  6. when it flows, water] VVater when it Flows, 1664; Water, when it flows, 1668