Friday, August 7, 2009

Portland Head Lighthouse

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow often walked from Portland to visit this lighthouse. The keepers were his friends and it is believed he sat here for inspiration for his poem "The Lighthouse."
The rocky ledge runs far into the sea,
and on its outer point, some miles away,
the lighthouse lifts its massive masonry,
A pillar of fire by night, of cloud by day.
Even at this distance I can see the tides,
Upheaving, break unheard along its base,
A speechless wrath, that rises and subsides
in the white tip and tremor of the face.

And as the evening darkens, lo! how bright
through the deep purple of the twilight air,
Beams forth the sudden radiance of its light,
with strange, unearthly splendor in the glare!

No one alone: from each projecting cape
And perilous reef along the ocean's verge,
Starts into life a dim, gigantic shape,
Holding its lantern o'er the restless surge.

Like the great giant Christopher it stands

Upon the brink of the tempestuous wave,

Wading far out among the rocks and sands,

The night o'er taken mariner to save.

And the great ships sail outward and return

Bending and bowing o'er the billowy swells,

And ever joyful, as they see it burn

They wave their silent welcome and farewells.

They come forth from the darkness, and their sails

Gleam for a moment only in the blaze,

And eager faces, as the light unveils

Gaze at the tower, and vanish while they gaze.

1 comment:

  1. LOVE the poem - what a nice touch to today's blog. Those are amazing shots, but I'm blown away by the B&W one!! WOW