Our brows are bound with spindrift and the weed is on our knees; Our loins are battered 'neath us by the swinging, smoking seas. From rock and reef and skerry -- over headland, ness, and voe -- The Coastwise Lights of England watch the ships of England go! Through the endless summer evenings, on the lineless, level floors; Thro' the yelling Channel tempest when the siren hoots and roars -- By day the dipping house-flag, by night the rocket's trail. -- As the sheep that graze behind us so we know them where they hail. We bridge across the dark, and bid the helmsman have a care, The flash that wheeling inward wakes his sleeping wife to prayer; From our vexed eyries, head to gale, we bind in burning chains The lover from the sea-rim drawn -- his love in English lanes. Go, get you gone up-Channel with the sea-crust on your plates; Go, get you into London with the burden of your freights! Haste, for they talk of Empire there, and say, if any seek, The Lights of England sent you and by silence shall ye speak!
- by Rudyard Kipling (1865 - 1936) [author's text not yet checked against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by Rutland Boughton (1878 - 1960), "The coastwise lights", 1901 [baritone and orchestra], from Songs of the English, no. 2. [text verified 1 time]
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
This text was added to the website: 2011-05-06
Line count: 16
Word count: 183