Sea Change

I saw a Priest in beetle black
Come to our golden beach,
And I was taken sore aback
Lest he should choose to preach
And chide me for my only wear,
A "Gee" string and a brassière.

And then I saw him shyly doff
And fold his grim soutane,
And one by one his clothes take off,
Until like any man
He stood in bathing trunks, a sight
To thrill a maiden with delight.

For he was framed and fashioned like
Apollo Belvedere;
I felt my heart like cymbal strike
Beneath my brassière.
And then the flounce of foam he broke,
And disappeared with flashing stroke.

We met. 'Twas in the billows roll.
Oh how he sang with joy;
But not a hymn, - a merry troll
With gusto of a boy.
I looked, and lo! the priest was gone,
And in his place a laughing faun. . . .

Today confession I have made.
The Father's face was stern,
And I was glad that in the shade
Mine he could not discern . . .
He gave me grace - but oh the bliss,
The salty passion of his kiss!

by Robert William Service

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