Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE LAMP OF HERO, by LOUISE VICTORINE ACKERMANN

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE LAMP OF HERO, by                     Poet's Biography
First Line: When hero's lover, reckless of the storm
Last Line: To cheer our sinking souls!
Alternate Author Name(s): Choquet, Louise Victorine
Subject(s): Hero & Leander; Lamps; Mythology; Leander

When Hero's lover, reckless of the storm,
Each night more hungry for his stealthy bliss,
Swam the swift channel to the trembling form
That waited with a kiss;

A Lamp, with rays that welcomed from afar,
Streamed through the darkness, vigilant and bright,
As though in Heav'n some large immortal star
Unveiled its throbbing light.

The scourging billows strove to blind his eyes,
The winds let loose their fury on the air,
And the scared sea-gulls shrieked discordant cries,
Foreboding death's despair;

But from the summit of the lonely tower
The Lamp still streamed above the waters dim
And the bold swimmer felt redoubled power
Nerve each exhausted limb.

As the dark billows and the winds at strife
Whelmed in their wrath the love-sick boy of old,
So, round humanity the storms of life
Since Time was born have rolled.

But while each lightning-flash reveals a tomb
Which yawns insatiate for each wretch that cowers
In the same dangers, and the same dense gloom
The same true Lamp is ours.

Through the dull haze it glimmers, dim and pale,
The winds and waters struggle but in vain,
In clouds of foam the guiding star to veil,
For still it gleams again.

And we, with faces lifted to the sky,
Filled with fresh hopes, the raging billows cleave,
Faint but encouraged by the light on high
Our venture to achieve.

Pharos of Love! that in the blackest night
Dost guide our course amid the rocks and shoals,
O Lamp of Hero! fail not with thy light
To cheer our sinking souls!

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