Cicely Fox Smith
A Seaside Church - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith
A gray-roof'd church on a hill, set in the sound of the waves,
Hearing them all day long on the shingle murmuring,
Looking out from the slope with its tiny acre of graves,
Over the smiling sea, gold-green like a peacock's wing.
Many a mile to the West, deep-blue to the noonday sky
Stretches the waste of waters, wide and windy and free,
Flecked with dashes of white where the swift-winged seagulls fly,
Singing down on the shore the endless song of the sea.
Calm it is now: last night the waves were wild enough,
Trampling up on the shingle like colts in the fields at play;
By the white crests out on the sea you can tell that the night was rough,
Where the breakers leap on the bar, far out in the sunlit bay.
See, by the shadowy porch. A poor dead bird on the ground,
Too weak to cope with the wind, that thundered so wild and high,
Beaten hither and thither, drenched and 'wildered and drowned,
Driven home from the sea to its Father's house to die.
Poor little broken wing! Poor draggled feathery breast!
Flung with thy happy life by the might of the western blast
To the little church on the hill where the seaboard people rest -
Men who have followed the sea till the great sea took them at last.
Here at our feet they lie, where the salt winds merrily blow,
Telling their tales of the ocean, wide and windy and free,
Here where the rollers sound on the shingle far below,
Singing down on the shore the olden song of the sea.
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