Isabel Ecclestone Mackay

(25 November 1875 – 15 August 1928 / Canada)

Fires Of Driftwood - Poem by Isabel Ecclestone Mackay

ON what long tides
Do you drift to my fire,
You waifs of strange waters?
From what far seas,
What murmurous sands,
What desolate beaches--
Flotsam of those glories that were ships!

I gather you,
Bitter with salt,
Sun-bleached, rock-scarred, moon-harried,
Fuel for my fire.

You are Pride's end.
Through all to-morrows you are yesterday.
You are waste,
You are ruin,
For where is that which once you were?

I gather you.
See! I set free the fire within you--
You awake in thin flame!
Tremulous, mistlike, your soul aspires,
Blue, beautiful,
Up and up to the clouds which are its kindred!
What is left is nothing--
Ashes blown along the shore!


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Poem Submitted: Monday, September 6, 2010



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