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Wilfred Wilson Gibson

Come, for the House of Hope is built on sand bring wine, for the fabric of life is as weak as the wind.

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Home

So long had I travelled the lonely road,
Though, now and again, a wayfairing friend
Walked shoulder to shoulder, and lightened the load,
I often would think to myself as I strode,
No comrade will journey with you to the end.

And it seemed to me, as the days went past,
And I gossiped with cronies, or brooded alone,
By wayside fires, that my fortune was cast
To sojourn by other men's hearths to the last,
And never to come to my own hearthstone.

The lonely road no longer I roam.
We met, and were one in the heart's desire.
Together we came, through the wintry gloam,
To the little old house by the cross-ways, home;
And crossed the threshold, and kindled the fire.

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The Blind Rower

And since he rowed his father home,
His hand has never touched an oar.
All day he wanders on the shore,
And hearkens to the swishing foam.
Though blind from birth, he still could row
As well as any lad with sight;
And knew strange things that none may know
Save those who live without the light.

When they put out that Summer eve
To sink the lobster-pots at sea,
The sun was crimson in the sky;
And not a breath was in the sky;
The brooding, thunder-laden sky,
That, heavily and wearily,
Weighed down upon the waveless sea
That scarcely seamed to heave.

The pots were safely sunk; and then
The father gave the word for home:

[...] Read more

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The Dancing Seal

When we were building Skua Light--
The first men who had lived a night
Upon that deep-sea Isle--
As soon as chisel touched the stone,
The friendly seals would come ashore;
And sit and watch us all the while,
As though they'd not seen men before;
And so, poor beasts, had never known
Men had the heart to do them harm.
They'd little cause to feel alarm
With us, for we were glad to find
Some friendliness in that strange sea;
Only too pleaed to let them be
And sit as long as they'd a mind
To watch us: for their eyes were kind
Like women's eyes, it seemed to me.
So, hour on hour, they sat: I think
They liked to hear the chisels clink:
And when the boy sang loud and clear,
They scrambled closer in to hear;

[...] Read more

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The Stone

"And will you cut a stone for him,
To set above his head?
And will you cut a stone for him--
A stone for him?" she said.

Three days before, a splintered rock
Had struck her lover dead--
Had struck him in the quarry dead,
Where, careless of a warning call,
He loitered, while the shot was fired--
A lively stripling, brave and tall,
And sure of all his heart desired . . .
A flash, a shock,
A rumbling fall . . .
And, broken 'neath the broken rock,
A lifeless heap, with face of clay,
And still as any stone he lay,
With eyes that saw the end of all.

I went to break the news to her:

[...] Read more

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The Crane

The biggest crane on earth, it lifts
Two hundred ton more easily
Than I can lift my heavy head:
And when it swings, the whole world shifts,
Or so, at least, it seems to me,
As, day and night, adream I lie
Upon my crippled back in bed,
And watch it against the sky.

My mother, hunching in her chair,
Day-long, and stitching trousers there--
At three-and-three the dozen pair . . .
She'd sit all night, and stitch for me,
Her son, if I could only wear . . .
She never lifts her eyes to see
The big crane swinging through the air.

But though she has no time to talk,
She always cleans the window-pane,
That I may see it clear and plain:

[...] Read more

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