Home  »  Poems of Places An Anthology in 31 Volumes  »  Written at Shurton Bars, near Bridgewater

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
England: Vols. I–IV. 1876–79.

Shurton Bars

Written at Shurton Bars, near Bridgewater

By Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772–1834)

AND hark, my love! The sea-breeze moans

Through yon reft house! O’er rolling stones

In bold ambitious sweep,

The onward-surging tides supply

The silence of the cloudless sky

With mimic thunders deep.

Dark reddening from the channelled Isle

(Where stands one solitary pile

Unslated by the blast),

The watchfire, like a sullen star,

Twinkles to many a dozing tar

Rude cradled on the mast.

Even there—beneath that lighthouse tower—

In the tumultuous evil hour,

Ere peace with Sara came,

Time was, I should have thought it sweet

To count the echoings of my feet

And watch the storm-vexed flame.

And there in black soul-jaundiced fit,

A sad gloom-pampered man to sit,

And listen to the roar:

When mountain surges bellowing deep

With an uncouth monster leap

Plunged foaming on the shore.

Then by the lightning’s blaze to mark

Some toiling tempest-shattered bark;

Her vain distress-guns hear;

And when a second sheet of light

Flashed o’er the blackness of the night,—

To see no vessel there!