William Ernest Henley

(1849 - 1902 / Gloucester / England)

When The Wind Storms By With A Shout - Poem by William Ernest Henley

When the wind storms by with a shout, and the stern sea-caves
Rejoice in the tramp and the roar of onsetting waves,
Then, then, it comes home to the heart that the top of life
Is the passion that burns the blood in the act of strife -
Till you pity the dead down there in their quiet graves.

But to drowse with the fen behind and the fog before,
When the rain-rot spreads and a tame sea mumbles the shore,
Not to adventure, none to fight, no right and no wrong,
Sons of the Sword heart-sick for a stave of your sire's old song -
O, you envy the blessed death that can live no more!


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Poem Submitted: Monday, April 12, 2010



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