In the morning I cast my net into the sea.
I dragged up from the dark abyss things of
strange aspect and strange beauty —
some shone like a smile, some glistened like tears,
and some were flushed like the cheeks of a bride.
When with the day’s burden I went home,
my love was sitting in the garden idly
tearing the leaves of a flower.
I hesitated for a moment, and then
placed at her feet all that I had dragged up,
and stood silent.
She glanced at them and said,
‘What strange things are these?
I know not of what use they are!’
I bowed my head in shame and thought,
‘I have not fought for these,
I did not buy them in the market;
they are not fit gifts for her.’
Then the whole night through
I flung them one by one into the street.
In the morning travellers came;
they picked them up and carried them into far countries.