American Poetry 1922/Rescue
Wind and wave and the swinging rope
Were calling me last night;
None to save and little hope,
No inner light.
Each snarling lash of the stormy sea
Curled like a hungry tongue.
One desperate splash—and no use to me
The noose that swung!
Death reached out three crooked claws
To still my clamoring pain.
I wheeled about, and Life's gray jaws
Grinned once again.
To sea I gazed, and then I turned
Stricken toward the shore,
Praying half-crazed to a moon that burned
Above your door.
And at your door, you discovered me;
And at your heart, I sobbed . . .
And if there be more of eternity
Let me be robbed.
Let me be clipped of that heritage
And burned for ages through;
Freed and stripped of my fear and rage—
But not of you.