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"Careless of wreck or ruin, still they sing
Their light songs to the listening ocean caves,
And wreathe their dainty limbs, and idly fling
The costly tribute of the cruel waves.
Faire as their mother-foam, and all as cold,
Untouched alike by pity, love or hate;
Without a thought for scattered pearl or gold,
And neither laugh nor tear for human fate."
The picture was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1903, two years after the death of Queen Victoria.
In 1988, the painting was offered by Christie's with an estimated value of £350,000 to £450,000. Sixty years earlier, the auction house had sold it for £472.10s.
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