Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, BEATRICE, SELECTION, by JOSEPH SHERIDAN LE FANU

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BEATRICE, SELECTION, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Now by a stranger hand the lamp is placed
Last Line: And summer breezes wildering rock and sigh.

NOW by a stranger hand the lamp is placed,
And little Beatrice no longer lights
The star he steered by on the moonless nights;
And when, like spirits lost, the sea-bird shrieks,
And when close-reefed across the roaring waste,
O'er breakers thundering in the shrilly winds,
His starless boat his wild home darkly seeks,
His eye at last the soulless beacon finds,
Thrills to his heart the ray of other years
Starred dimly in the dark by gathering tears.

In summer evenings, when the isles grow dim,
And seas float silvery round the darkened shore,
Never again awakes the distant hymn,
The laughing, sweet-voiced welcome in the door,
The loving prattle and the glad surprise,
When down the rocky stair the true steps flies
To meet him at the gunwale by the shore.
That laughing, loving welcome as of yore,
That dancing step will wake again no more.
The cold sea breaks along the pebbles there,
The door is dark -- the stair is but a stair --
And through the struggling roses, weeds wave high,
And summer breezes wildering rock and sigh.

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