Shelley speaks of the sea as 'hungering for
calm,' and in this place one learned to understand the phrase.
Looking down into these green waters from the broken edge of the
rock, or swimming leisurely in the sunshine, it seemed to me that
they were enjoying their own tranquillity; and when now and again
it was disturbed by a wind ripple on the surface, or the quick
black passage of a fish far below, they settled back again (one
could fancy) with relief.
On shore too, in the little nook of shelter, everything was so
subdued and still that the least particular struck in me a
pleasurable surprise. The desultory crackling of the whin-pods in
the afternoon sun usurped the ear. The hot, sweet breath of the
bank, that had been saturated all day long with sunshine, and now
exhaled it into my face, was like the breath of a fellow-creature.
I remember that I was haunted by two lines of French verse; in some
dumb way they seemed to fit my surroundings and give expression to
the contentment that was in me, and I kept repeating to myself -
'Mon coeur est un luth suspendu,
Sitot qu'on le touche, il resonne.'
I can give no reason why these lines came to me at this time; and
for that very cause I repeat them here.