Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895.  1895.
The Song of the Wild Storm-Waves
Percy F. Sinnett (b 18—)
After the Loss of the “Tararua”
OH, ye wild waves, shoreward dashing,
  What is your tale to-day?
O’er the rocks your white foam splashing,
  While the moaning wind your spray
  Whirls heavenwards away        5
      In the mist?
Have ye heard the timbers crashing
  Of the good ship out at sea?
Seen the masts the dank ropes lashing,
  While the sailors bend the knee,        10
  And vainly call on Heaven
      To assist?
Oh, ay! we ’ve seen and heard—
  Oh, ay! we ’ve heard and seen
More than ever you could gather—        15
  More than ever you could glean
      From our tale.
We have seen, and heard, and laughed,
As we tossed the shattered craft,
  While those on board, aghast,        20
  Every moment thought their last,
      In the gale.
We tossed them like a plaything,
  And rent their riven sail;
And we laughed our loud Ha! ha!        25
  With the demons of the gale
      In their ears.
We have laughed, and heard, and seen,
In the lightning’s lurid sheen,
  And the growling thunder’s blast;        30
  And we drowned them all at last
      For their fears.
There were mothers there on board
  With their little ones in arms;
There were maidens there on board        35
  More lovely in their charms
      Than the day;
And again we heard, and laughed
As we dashed across the craft;
  While our master shrieked and roared,        40
  As we swept them overboard,
      And away.
And they battled all in vain,
  With their puny human strength.
In our grasp they were as nothing;        45
  Down, down, they sank at length
      In the sea;
And still again we screamed,
As the lurid flashes gleamed,
  And o’er their heads we swept,        50
  And for joy we danced and leapt
      In our glee.
This, this, now is the tale
  We have to tell to-day,
And now to you we ’ve sung it        55
  In our merry, mocking way.
      Do you hear?
How our havoc we have wrought,
And to destruction brought
  The treasures of the Earth,        60
  Held by man in price, and worth,
      Very dear?
Oh! ye cruel waves up-dashing,
  Why rejoice you so to-day?
As shoreward ye come crashing        65
  From your cruel, cruel play;
  Why fling ye up your spray
      On the shore?
The sand your salt spume splashing,
  As ye frolic in your glee;        70
As the iron rocks ye ’re lashing,
  Ye scourges of the sea,—
Will ye never then be glutted
      Any more?


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