Welcome to Poetry.com
Poetry.com is a huge collection of poems from famous and amateur poets from around the world — collaboratively published by a community of authors and contributing editors.
(0.00 / 0 votes) “
Roderic Quinn 1867 (Surry Hills, New South Wales) – 1949 (Darlinghurst, New South Wales)
WOE to the weak when the sky is shrouded,
And the wind of the salt-way sobs as it dies!
Woe to the weak! for a great dejection
Droops their spirits and drowns their eyes.
Woe to the weak who tire of fetters,
Of grim life-fetters that gall and bind!
For the Sea tells stories of death made lovely,
And a siren sings in the nor'-east wind.
It wanders the coast like a tombless spectre,
And drips dank dew on the drooping leaf;
And the soul grows pensive with dim suggestions
Of grey old troubles and ancient grief.
'Tis grave and low, and with woeful plaining
Sighs death-notes under a sky of grey;
And who hath an ear may hear the voices
Of pale men dead on its streaked sea-way.
In fading twilights o'er sullen seascapes,
A lost, wan wind 'neath a dead grey sky,
It swoons to land like a weary swimmer,
Sobs and falters and turns to die.
Seeking a tomb in dark coast caverns
Where wet rust reddens the fretted stone,
The wandering sea-thing sinks to silence,
Sinks and dies with a last low moan . . .
A last low moan, and deadly stillness . . .
Then the sudden crash of a league-long sea,
And fresh from his den in the white ice region
The Wolf of the South is speeding free;
Cleaving the air with his chill grey shoulders,
Trampling the sea to foam beneath.
The Wolf of the South goes howling nor'ard,
A mastless hull in his long white teeth.
Black swans on high, a far faint phalanx,
Wing their way to a northern clime,
Sending feathers of sad sound downward,
Mournful notes of an evil time —
An evil time, for the black Night chases
And darkness swallows the trailing flock;
An evil season of wild white weather,
And foam and tumult on reef and rock;
Of yellow floods on the Northern rivers,
And fierce waves swaying from crest to trough,
Of creaking schooners wearing seaward,
And signals crying — Stand off! Stand off!
Of frothy flakes on the wild waste flying,
And anxious faces, and fateful news;
Of close-reefed topsails, and battened hatches,
And straining engines and racing screws;
Of pumice-stone and brown weeds riven,
Cast up and flung on the hissing sand;
Of squadroned waves and their mighty charging,
And the stern repulse of the frowning land;
Of whipped white faces faring stormward
With smothered words and wrecked replies,
Of trees blown down on the windy ridges,
And stormy shoutings, and tempest cries;
Of eyes that dance to the wild wind's music,
Of strange sweet thrills through the calm-sick form,
Of Storm throned king on the mad white ocean,
Of Storm the Monarch — all hail to Storm!
Discuss this Roderic Quinn poem with the community:
Find a translation for this poem in other languages:
Select another language:
- - Select -
- 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
- 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
- Español (Spanish)
- Esperanto (Esperanto)
- 日本語 (Japanese)
- Português (Portuguese)
- Deutsch (German)
- العربية (Arabic)
- Français (French)
- Русский (Russian)
- ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
- 한국어 (Korean)
- עברית (Hebrew)
- Gaeilge (Irish)
- Українська (Ukrainian)
- اردو (Urdu)
- Magyar (Hungarian)
- मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
- Indonesia (Indonesian)
- Italiano (Italian)
- தமிழ் (Tamil)
- Türkçe (Turkish)
- తెలుగు (Telugu)
- ภาษาไทย (Thai)
- Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
- Čeština (Czech)
- Polski (Polish)
- Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
- Românește (Romanian)
- Nederlands (Dutch)
- Ελληνικά (Greek)
- Latinum (Latin)
- Svenska (Swedish)
- Dansk (Danish)
- Suomi (Finnish)
- فارسی (Persian)
- ייִדיש (Yiddish)
- հայերեն (Armenian)
- Norsk (Norwegian)
- English (English)