Lying in bed with the Covid, not really relishing pulling all the information for Wannabe lighthouse No 3, I thought I'd post up here an anonymous poem I found in the Tralee Chronicle of 16th February 1875.
I appreciate it is not really lighthouse-related but, having written about lighthouse deaths, it strikes a chord with the lonely boatmen going out at night to look for victims of known shipwrecks, a very common practice considering the amount of drownings suffered off our coasts for many years.
The flashing lighthouse beacon pales before
The ruddy harvest moon's intenser ray
That bathes, and changes into sparkling ore
Its stones of granite grey.
A single boat steals down the moonlit track.
Through the still night, its oar-strokes echo far;
Fringed with cleft light, the outline sharply black
Heaves on the harbour bar.
What strange freight fills it? Yonder heavy sail
Covers some form of blurred and shapeless dread;
Rude is the pall, but fitted well to veil
The ocean's outcast dead.
His name? his history? Vain it were to guess
But short to sum: a waif - a mystery;
Death's mocking gloss upon life's loveliness;
A secret of the sea.