Shelley was drowned near here. Arms at his side
He fell submissive through the waves, and he
Was but a minor conquest of the sea:
The darkness that he met was nurse not bride.
Others make gestures with arms open wide,
Compressing in the minute before death
What great expense of muscle and breath
They would have made in they had never died.
Byron was worth the sea's pursuit. His touch
Was masterful to water, audience
To which he could react until an end.
Strong swimmers, fishermen, explorers: such
Dignify death by thriftless violence -
Squandering with so little left to spend.
Thom Gunn, Collected Poems, Faber and Faber, 1993