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THE BEACON-LIGHT; A GERMAN LEGEND, by                     Poet's Biography
First Line: Go seaward, son, and bear a light!
Last Line: Safety to the land!


I.

"Go seaward, son, and bear a light!"
Up spoke the sailor's wife;
"Thy father sails this stormy night
In peril of his life

II.

"His ship that sailed to foreign lands
This hour may heavy in sight.
Oh, should it wreck upon the sands!
Go, son, and bear a light!"

III.

He lights a torch and seaward goes;
Naught boots the deed, I doubt.
The rain it rains, the wind it blows;
And soon the light goes out.

IV.

The boy comes back: "O mother deal
Bid me not go again;
No torch can live, 't is very clear,
Before the wind and rain!"

V.

"No sailor's blood hast thou, I trow,
To fear a stormy night;
Let rains descend, let tempests blow,
Go, son, and bear a light!"

VI.

Once more he lights the torch, and goes
Toward the foaming main.
The rain it rains, the wind it blows;
Out goes the torch again!

VII.

The boy comes back: "O mother dear,
The storm puts out the light;
The night is drear, and much I fear
The woman dressed in white!"

VIII.

"No sailor's blood hast thou, I trow,
To tremble thus before
A mermaid's face. Take heart of grace,
And seek again the shore!"

IX.

The boy comes back: "O mother dear,
Go thou unto the strand;
My father's voice I sure did hear
In tones of stern command!"

X.

And now the mother lights the torch,
And, see! the kindling rays
Have caught the thatch! from roof to porch
The hut is all ablaze!

XI.

"What hast thou done?" the urchin cries;
"Oh piteous sight to see!
Cold is the night; Oh wretched plight!
Nor house nor home have we!"

XII.

"No sailor's blood hast thou, I wis.
When torches fail to burn,
A blazing hovel -- such as this --
May serve as good a turn!"

XIII.

Joy to the sailor! see! he clears
The shoals on either hand,
Thanks to the light! and now he steers
safety to the land!





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