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The Lighthouse Wreck

David Lewis Paget

The wreck sat out by the lighthouse where
It lay, smashed up on the rocks,
A miracle it had survived at all
Where felons sat in the stocks.
The bow was sundered, the masts had gone
Long lost in a winter storm,
But still it lay where it lies today
Since before I was even born.

The Lighthouse stands like a monument
But without a single light,
Where once it saved from disaster all
The ships, with its beam at night,
But that was the days of the clipper ships
That would call in from the Cape,
Except for the ‘Traveller Grimm’ that slipped
On the rocks, and didn’t escape.

Those of the crew who didn’t drown
Had sworn there wasn’t a light,
Nothing to cut through the inky black,
There wasn’t a Moon that night,
The first they knew was a grinding crunch
As the keel drove up on the reef,
And then the Lighthouse had loomed on up
From the dark, like a midnight thief.

Often we’d go when the tide was low
Young Jack, and Jenny and me,
Down to the shore where we could explore
Just what was left in the sea.
And then we would climb the Lighthouse stair
Hang out from the very top,
Where once the light had beamed out at night,
Gaze down at the terrible drop.

Then Jack had bet us we couldn’t stay
Up there by the light all night,
Without a candle or torch with us
To give us a comforting light,
So up we went in the afternoon
To wait till the sun went down,
Then sat and shivered, there in the gloom,
There was blackness all around.

The sea was muttering round the rocks
Below, till the storm came in,
Then clashed and smashed where the wreck was docked
We seemed to sway with the wind,
The sound came up like the cries of men
Adrift in a cruel sea,
Then Jenny cried, ‘that was how they died,
Or that’s how it seems to me.’

She climbed up onto the parapet
And swayed there, looking down,
And Jack said that he would join her there,
While I held back, and frowned.
The two were standing and holding hands
When Jenny tripped on the ledge,
So when she toppled, she took him down,
While I just clung to the edge.

I heard them hit on the ‘Traveller Grimm’,
On what was left of the deck.
They both had died from a stupid whim,
As both had a broken neck.
I never went back to that Lighthouse stair,
They sealed it up, like a tomb,
Then put up a sign that said ‘Beware’,
That glows at night in the gloom.

David Lewis Paget

© 2017, David Lewis Paget. All rights reserved.

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