Monday, September 14, 2009

Shades of Light

The Lighthouse Keeper Wonders
Edgar Guest

The light I have tended for 40 years
is now to be run by a set of gears.
The Keeper said, And it isn’t nice
to be put ashore by a mere device.

Now, fair or foul the wind that blow
or smooth or rough the sea below,
It is all the same. The ships at night
will run to an automatic light.

The clock and gear which truly turn

are timed and set so the light shall burn.
But did ever an automatic thing
set plants about in early Spring?

And did ever a bit of wire and gear
a cry for help in darkness hear?
Or welcome callers and show them through
the lighthouse rooms as I used to do?

‘Tis not in malice these things I say
All men must bow to the newer way.
But it’s strange for a lighthouse man like me

after forty years on shore to be.

And I wonder now - will the grass stay green?
Will the brass stay bright and the windows clean?
And will ever that automatic thing
plant marigolds in early Spring?

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