Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
France: Vols. IX–X. 1876–79.


At Dieppe

By William Wetmore Story (1819–1895)

THE SHIVERING column of the moonlight lies

Upon the crumbling sea;

Down the lone shore the flying curlew cries

Half humanly.

With hoarse, dull wash the backward dragging surge

Its rancid pebbles rakes,

Or swelling dark runs down with toppling verge,

And flashing breaks.

The lighthouse flares and darkens from the cliff,

And stares with lurid eye

Fiercely along the sea and shore, as if

Some foe to spy.

What knowing thought, O ever-moaning sea,

Haunts thy perturbéd breast,—

What dark crime weighs upon thy memory

And spoils thy rest?

Thy soft swell lifts and swings the new-launched yacht

With polished spars and deck,

But crawls and grovels where the bare ribs rot

Of the old wreck.

O treacherous courtier! thy deceitful lie

To youth is gayly told,

But in remorse I see thee cringingly

Crouch to the old.