The Beacon in the Storm (Poem by Victor Hugo)

the Old Poems

The Beacon in the Storm
By Victor Hugo


Hark to that solemn sound!
    It steals towards the strand. — 
Whose is that voice profound
    Which mourns the swallowed land,
        With moans,
        Or groans,
    New threats of ruin close at hand?
It is Triton — the storm to scorn
Who doth wind his sonorous horn.

How thick the rain to-night!
    And all along the coast
The sky shows naught of light
    Is it a storm, my host?
        Too soon
        The boon
    Of pleasant weather will be lost
Yes, 'tis Triton, etc.

Are seamen on that speck
    Afar in deepening dark?
Is that a splitting deck
    Of some ill-fated bark?
        Fend harm!
        Send calm!
    O Venus! show thy starry spark!
Though 'tis Triton, etc.

The thousand-tooth├Ęd gale, — 
    Adventurers too bold! — 
Rips up your toughest sail
 And tears your anchor-hold.
        You forge
        Through surge,
    To be in rending breakers rolled.
While old Triton, etc.

Do sailors stare this way,
    Cramped on the Needle's sheaf,
To hail the sudden ray
    Which promises relief?
        Then, bright;
        Shine, light!
    Of hope upon the beacon reef!
Though 'tis Triton, etc.

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