Tearing their way towards the boat,
surfacing in parallel,
plunging as in invisible harness,
alongside, round, under the bowsprit,
glittering on top, fading at sides,
streamlined and gleaming,
abstractions of speed, energy, power,
leaping out, plunging water into
spiralling and vanishing,
swift shadows alike,
sailing into the air in another great loop,
them after drawing the sea,
shaking it off in mid-air,
plunging forwards again,
tearing frothing bow-waves with their beaks,
diving down, falling behind, criss-crossing,
flung themselves out up in insane abandon
in mid-air shaking, muscular the convulsion,
as though resolved to abandon sea for ever.
But gravity alas,
dragged them forward and down again
into their bubbling liquid world.
Noise of rending and searing.
Each leap into the air called forth a chorus of gasps
each plunge a sigh.
Laugh on the comment at sigh last:
In the thousands of years to come
humans will not them allow
lead evolution's claimed harness up.
No fear therefore to become our dauphins.*
Transformed into poem a description
of Patrick Leigh Fermor, to be found in
paddy's-world-transcript-of John Julius Norwich
*verse invented thanks to comment of Barry Middleton