Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Scotland
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Scotland: Vols. VI–VIII.  1876–79.
 
Inchcape Rock
The Bell at Sea
Felicia Hemans (1793–1835)
 
          The dangerous islet called the Bell Rock [the Inchcape Rock], on the coast of Forfarshire used formerly to be marked only by a bell, which was so placed as to be swung by the motion of the waves, when the tide rose above the rock. A lighthouse has since been erected there.

WHEN the tide’s billowy swell
  Had reached its height,
Then tolled the rock’s lone bell
  Sternly by night.
 
Far over cliff and surge        5
  Swept the deep sound,
Making each wild wind’s dirge
  Still more profound.
 
Yet that funereal tone
  The sailor blessed,        10
Steering through darkness on
  With fearless breast.
 
E’en so may we, that float
  On life’s wide sea,
Welcome each warning note,        15
  Stern though it be!
 
 
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