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Poem by Robert Stephen Hawker


The Silent Tower of Bottreau


TINTADGEL bells ring oer the tide,
The boy leans on his vessel side;
He hears that sound, and dreams of home
Soothe the wild orphan of the foam.
    Come to thy God in time!
    Thus saith their pealing chime:
    Youth, manhood, old age past,
    Come to thy God at last.

But why are Bottreaus echoes still?
Her tower stands proudly on the hill;
Yet the strange chough that home hath found:
The lamb lies sleeping on the ground.
    Come to thy God in time!
    Should be her answering chime:
    Come to thy God at last!
    Should echo on the blast.

The ship rode down with courses free,
The daughter of a distant sea:
Her sheet was loose, her anchor stored,
The merry Bottreau bells on board.
    Come to thy God in time!
    Rung out Tintadgel chime;
    Youth, manhood, old age past,
    Come to thy God at last!

The pilot heard his native bells
Hang on the breeze in fitful swells;
Thank God, with reverent brow he cried,
We make the shore with evenings tide.
    Come to thy God in time!
    It was his marriage chime:
    Youth, manhood, old age past,
    His bell must ring at last.

Thank God, thou whining knave, on land,
But thank, at sea, the steersmans hand,
The captains voice above the gale:
Thank the good ship and ready sail.
    Come to thy God in time!
    Sad grew the boding chime:
    Come to thy God at last!
    Boomed heavy on the blast.

Uprose that sea! as if it heard
The mighty Masters signal-word:
What thrills the captains whitening lip?
The death-groans of his sinking ship.
    Come to thy God in time!
    Swung deep the funeral chime:
    Grace, mercy, kindness past,
    Come to thy God at last!

Long did the rescued pilot tell
When gray hairs oer his forehead fell,	
While those around would hear and weep
That fearful judgment of the deep.
    Come to thy God in time!
    He read his native chime:
    Youth, manhood, old age past,
    His bell rung out at last.

Still when the storm of Bottreaus waves
Is wakening in his weedy caves:
Those bells, that sullen surges hide,
Peal their deep notes beneath the tide:
    Come to thy God in time!
    Thus saith the ocean chime:
    Storm, billow, whirlwind past,
    Come to thy God at last!



Robert Stephen Hawker


Robert Stephen Hawker's other poems:
  1. The Death-Race
  2. Featherstones Doom
  3. The Scroll
  4. The Cell
  5. Mawgan of Melhuach


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