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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
America: Vols. XXV–XXIX. 1876–79.

New England: Beverly, Mass.

The Light-houses

By Lucy Larcom (1826–1893)

Baker’s Island

TWO pale sisters, all alone,

On an island bleak and bare,

Listening to the breakers’ moan,

Shivering in the chilly air;

Looking inland towards a hill,

On whose top one aged tree

Wrestles with the storm-wind’s will,

Rushing, wrathful, from the sea.

Two dim ghosts at dusk they seem,

Side by side, so white and tall,

Sending one long, hopeless gleam

Down the horizon’s darkened wall.

Spectres, strayed from plank or spar,

With a tale none lives to tell,

Grazing at the town afar,

Where unconscious widows dwell.

Two white angels of the sea,

Guiding wave-worn wanderers home;

Sentinels of hope they be,

Drenched with sleet, and dashed with foam,

Standing there in loneliness,

Fireside joys for men to keep;

Through the midnight slumberless

That the quiet shore may sleep.

Two bright eyes awake all night

To the fierce moods of the sea;

Eyes that only close when light

Dawns on lonely hill and tree.

O kind watchers! teach us, too,

Steadfast courage, sufferance long!

Where an eye is turned to you,

Should a human heart grow strong.