The Storm Cone


This is the midnight-let no star 
Delude us-dawn is very far.
This is the tempest long foretold,
Slow to make head but sure to hold 

Stand by! The lull 'twixt blast and blast 
Signals the storm is near, not past;
And worse than present jeopardy 
May our forlorn to-morrow be.

If we have cleared the expectant reef, 
Let no man look for his relief.
Only the darkness hides the shape 
Of further peril to escape.

It is decreed that we abide
The weight of gale against the tide 
And those huge waves the outer main 
Sends in to set us back again.

They fall and whelm. We strain to hear 
The pulses of her labouring gear,
Till the deep throb beneath us proves, 
After each shudder and check, she moves! 

She moves, with all save purpose lost,
To make her offing from the coast; 
But, till she fetches open sea,
Let no man deem that he is free!


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