When the News about the ‘Trent’ Came
Faint as a sigh the weary light Touches the verge before it drops; The rustle of descending night Is felt through all the breathless copse. A great slow shadow dims the sea, And ships come softly through its haze, Like passing shapes seen doubtfully By eyes that ache while sleep delays. A ship had brought us word at morn, How some mad world beyond the sea Stood up to fling a look of scorn In face of England's majesty. And all our land was thinking war; I, too, with powerless hopes and hands, Watched while each pale deliberate star Struck this wet purple in the sands; And felt, for each red boss of rock, Now blackening as the night-time grows; Each curve of these cliff-walls that lock Our precious freedom from our foes; For each small circuit traced by foam, And marking England to my sight, Each fringe and fragment of my home, I could have wished to die to-night.
Menella Bute Smedley’s other poems:
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