Cicely Fox Smith

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

The Rock - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith

Here the inscrutable purpose of my God
Set me, to be to men a thing of hate,
Watching the way where the weary steamers plod,
Doomed to the end to slay and desolate.

Passive I stand and slay thro' the shouting night,
When doomed ships drive against my stirless frame,
And windy seas, lashed mad to a shimmer of white,
Curtain my brows as if to hide my shame.

Yet, when the sea rolls calm to the skyline's edge,
Fading, a magic realm, in sunset's glow,
And the seabirds bask and nestle on hollow and ledge,
Almost I dream It will be always so.

Almost I dream that the seas will never awake,
Tossing their manes of foam against the sky,
Where now, 'neath the trail of smoke that the liners make,
Men look on me, and know the land is nigh.

Tho' mine be a name of sorrow, a word of fear,
Even on my brows the wandering seabirds rest;
And, when men see me heralding home so near,
Even the race I slay salute me blest.


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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, August 31, 2010



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