The sea casts a look from its head to its shoulder
To the silent, dark face of the trembling boulder
Which hangs on a precipice, deep in the wind
Shivering, waiting to rollick and rend.
The sea presses onward---no need to recover
From a single black rock on the edge of a boulder;
Save that it holds, in the storm and its sorrow
A lighthouse which certainly tumbles tomorrow.
Oh, how many souls have been guided and gilded
By rays that the bulb from that lighthouse had weilded?
Shall futures of sailors be struck from their living
Since simply one cold, blackened boulder is giving?
The sea must be heartless, the skies must be granite
The Devil below must take pains just to plan it,
And what of the mothers, and sisters, and wives
Who knit on the coast while the lightning still drives?
Oh, God in your mercy, and justice, and grace
Be kind to the ships as they pass through this place
And grant a dear angel---the strongest you own--
To hold up the rock where your winds have been blown.
As the lighthouse stands straighter, and rains soon pass over
And the sheep on the moors run no longer for cover
The blessings of men both on land and on sea
Will come to your ears, as they'll echo in me;
For I am the one who when midnight came calling
Wept for the beacon of hope that was falling
And cried out, "Oh Guardian, grant us one for my lover!"
For my pleas were all selfish, as you would discover.
But what use is the dawn of a day like this coming
With the freshness of rain and the meadowlarks humming,
Unless in the hope borne from dire despair
It is shared by a man with salt spray in his hair.