Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, LINDISFARNE, by HERBERT TRENCH



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LINDISFARNE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: O rocky the islet
Last Line: "made one with the land!"
Subject(s): Tides; Islands


O ROCKY the islet
And narrow the sand
That twice a day only
Leads back to the land! . . .
Our Seer, the net-mender,
The day that he died
Looked out to the seaward
At ebb of the tide.
Gulls drove like the snow
Over bight, over barn,
As he sang to the ebb
On the rock Lindisfarne:
"Twain and twain only,
At Death and at Birth,
Are the tides of the day
That man spends upon Earth.
Hail, thou blue ebbing!
The breakers are gone
From the stormy coast-islet
Bethundered and lone!
Hail, thou wide shrinking
Of foam and of bubble --
The reefs are laid bare
And far off is the trouble!
For through this retreating
As soft as a smile,
The isle of the flood
Is no longer an isle. . .
"By the silvery isthmus
Of the sands that uncover,
Now feet as of angels
Come delicate over --
The fluttering children
Flee happily over!
To the beach of the mainland
Return is now clear,
The old travel thither
Dry-shod, without fear. . .

"And now, at the wane,
When foundations expand,
Doth the isle of my soul,
Lindisfarne, understand
She stretcheth to vastness
Made one with the land!"





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