American Poetry 1922/Rescue

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.



This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1925.


The author died in 1977, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 30 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.