by: William Allingham (1824-1889)
POEMS BY WILLIAM ALLINGHAM
- he plunging storm flies fierce against the pane,
- And thrills our cottage with redoubled shocks;
- The chimney mutters and the rafters strain;
- Without, the breakers roar along the rocks.
- See, from our fire and taper-lighted room,
- How savage, pitiless, and uncontrolled
- The grim horizon shows its tossing gloom
- Of waves from unknown angry gulphs uprolled,
- Where, underneath that black portentous lid,
- A long pale space between the night and sea
- Gleams awful: while in deepest dark hid
- All other things in our despair agree.
- What strength of Man is able to contend
- With brutal raging elements like these?
- Here all his pride of conquest has an end;
- His so-called slaves can crush him when they please.
- But lo! what star amid the thickest dark
- A soft and unexpected dawn has made?
- O welcome Light-House, 'tis thy steady spark,
- Piercing the turmoil and the deathly shade!
- By such a glimpse o'er the distracted wave
- Full many a soul tonight is repossest
- Of courage and of order, strong to save;
- And like effect it works within my breast.
- Three faithful men have set themselves to stand
- Against all storms that from the sky can blow;
- Where peril must expect no aiding hand,
- And tedium no relief may hope to know.
- Nor shout they, passing brothers to inform
- What weariness they feel, or what affright;
- But tranquilly in solitude and storm
- Abide from month to month, and show their Light.
|"The Light" is reprinted from Poems. William Allingham. London: Chapman and Hall, 1850.