Cicely Fox Smith

(1 February 1882 – 8 April 1954 / Lymm, Cheshire)

After The Storm - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith

O the calling of the waves on the pebbled beach below,
And the seagull sweeping o'er the waters grey!
O the weeping on the quay! O the bitter, bitter woe
For the mariners that perished yesterday!

The ruddy rose will blow and the winter snow will fall,
And the varying year bring round the crops again,
And the nesting birds in spring from the cottage eves will call,
But they sleep sound beneath the sleepless main!

In vain the buoy-bell clangs where the beetling cliff looks down,
And in vain for them the harbour lights will burn:
There are broken hearts to-day in the little fishing town
For the sailors who will nevermore return.

They are lying far below 'neath the sad Atlantic swell,
Where the pale light gleams and flickers overhead;
Where the seabirds dive and soar and the surges toll a knell,
They will sleep until the sea gives up her dead.

And far below their heads will steer the careless crews,
And far above the liners come and go;
And fifty fathoms deep, in the mid-Atlantic ooze,
The deep-sea cable throbs with joy and woe.

And the sea keeps on its moan where the silent cliff looks down,
And the gull its ceaseless call across the bay,
And hearts must bear and break in the little fishing-town
For the mariners who perish day by day.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, August 30, 2010

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