Each of the three stanzas in James Reeves' poem The Sea has its own tone. The first stanza introduces the sea as a "hungry dog." The tone in this part of the poem expresses danger and risk. The repetition of the word "bones" adds further to the ominous tone. This tone is even more dreadful in the second stanza in which the dog metaphor is taken even further. Now the reader is meant to feel the anxiety of being on a raging ocean at night as the sea is compared to a howling dog flinging water every which way.
In the final stanza, the tone changes drastically. The sea is still being compared to a dog, but now that dog is at rest. The tone is one of relief at having survived the thrashing sea of the previous night. The situation has calmed as is signified by the final line of the poem with its repetition of the phrase, "so quiet, so quiet . . . ."