Wilfrid Scawen Blunt

(1840 - 1922 / England)

Dead Joys - Poem by Wilfrid Scawen Blunt

Moan on with thy loud changeless wail,
Desolate sea,
Grinding thy pebbles into thankless sand.
Oh, could I lash my angry heart like thee
Until it broke upon an iron land,
The very rocks should tremble and turn pale
To be the witness of my agony.

Fierce wind, the sob of thy dull pitiless voice
Is thick with snow.
Hiss out thy tale into my ice--bound ear
In sleety whispers, for full well I know
That in thy wanderings thou hast seen my joys,
My young joys, dead in some far hemisphere,
A land of blackness and colossal woe.

Naked they lay, my shipwrecked mariners,
Upon the shore.
The low moon pointed her long fingers, red
As a murderer's hand, between their prison bars
In the ribbed wreck, which hungry ocean tore
At the first spring--tide to reclaim the dead
And hide them in his jaws for evermore.

Tell me, thou silence, what sad death they died,
Poor castaways!
What wolfish eyes were on each other there,
When they had eaten all that hunger stays,
And thirst no longer could be quenched with pride!
Didst thou not see their teeth grow white and bare,
Grinding a savage thought for many days,

Until they fell upon their own red hearts?
Thou didst not see,
Or Thou hadst surely had some pity, God,
When they crept gnawing to the vital parts,
My joys, which I had nursed so tenderly
In the very cradle of my love's abode.
Or art Thou pitiless as wind or sea?

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, April 13, 2010

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