Charlotte Smith (1749-1806)
Huge Vapours Brood above the Clifted Shore
1Huge vapours brood above the clifted shore,
2Night o'er the ocean settles, dark and mute,
3Save where is heard the repercussive roar
4Of drowsy billows, on the rugged foot
5Of rocks remote; or still more distant tone
6Of seamen, in the anchored bark, that tell
7The watch relieved; or one deep voice alone,
8Singing the hour, and bidding "strike the bell."
9All is black shadow, but the lucid line
10Marked by the light surf on the level sand,
11Or where afar, the ship-lights faintly shine
12Like wandering fairy fires, that oft on land
13Mislead the pilgrim; such the dubious ray
14That wavering reason lends, in life's long darkling way.
Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department
of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services,
University of Toronto Libraries.
Original text: Charlotte Smith, The Young Philosopher, 4 vols. (London, 1798): III, 75.
First publication date:
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 1996-2000.
Recent editing: 2:2002/3/20
Other poems by Charlotte Smith