Verse > John Greenleaf Whittier > The Poetical Works in Four Volumes
John Greenleaf Whittier (1807–1892).  The Poetical Works in Four Volumes.  1892.
Appendix II. Poems Printed in the ‘Life of Whittier’
Lines on Leaving Appledore
[Sent in a letter to Celia Thaxter.]

UNDER the shadow of a cloud, the light
Died out upon the waters, like a smile
Chased from a face by grief. Following the flight
Of a lone bird that, scudding with the breeze,
Dipped its crank wing in leaden-colored seas,        5
I saw in sunshine lifted, clear and bright,
On the horizon’s rim the Fortunate Isle
That claims thee as its fair inhabitant,
And glad of heart I whispered, “Be to her,
Bird of the summer sea, my messenger;        10
Tell her, if Heaven a fervent prayer will grant,
This light that falls her island home above,
Making its slopes of rock and greenness gay,
A partial glory midst surrounding gray,
Shall prove an earnest of our Father’s love,        15
More and more shining to the perfect day.”

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