A bit of driftweed tossed upon the shore;
By wave, and rock, and sea-grown creatures torn,
          And bruised sore,
And left to perish as a useless thing
In sight and sound of its own ocean-lore:
          Alone and lorn!
A bit of driftweed. Oh, the poets sing
Of flowers by children loved, by maidens worn;
But who is there would turn aside to pore
Upon the sea-tang which the waves do fling
          On land, galore?
There came that way a savant who had thought
To spend on seeming trifles; for God taught
His heart to find fair Love in Nature’s creed:
          So he could bring
His great soul to the study of a weed.
          He stooped, and caught
The ocean castaway within his hand;
And – that it had been formed by God’s command–
He found much beauty in it. So ’twas brought
To rest among his relics. None might scorn
          That humble thing–
The work of Nature, therefore nobly born.

Source: Chambers Edinburgh Journal 8.367 (10 January 1891): 32.
(Available in ProQuest database)