we send the wave to find the wave

We send the Wave to find the Wave --
An Errand so divine,
The Messenger enamored too,
Forgetting to return,
We make the wise distinction still,
Soever made in vain,
The sagest time to dam the sea is when the sea is gone --

Emily Dickinson

Kodak photo from the collection of the National Media Museum via they humm of mystery.