Katharine Lee Bates

(1859-1929 / United States)

The Lighthouse - Poem by Katharine Lee Bates

IN seas far north, day after day
We leaned upon the rail, engrossed
In frolic fin and jewel spray
And crystal headlands of the coast.
Those beauties held so long in gaze
Have melted from my mind like snow,
But still I see through rifted haze
The wizard tower and portico
That flashed one instant, white and whist,
A grace too exquisite to keep,
A picture springing from the mist
As a dream comes shining out of sleep.
I do not know what name he wrote,
Our captain, in his good ship's log,
For that sea-wraith, —how men denote
Our fleeting phantom of the fog;
But yet across the world I thrill
With rapture of that ivory gleam,
That sudden shaft of glory, till
It wears the wonder of a dream.


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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 16, 2010



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