Huge Vapours Brood above the Clifted Shore

Original Text: 
Charlotte Smith, The Young Philosopher, 4 vols. (London, 1798): III, 75.
1Huge vapours brood above the clifted shore,
2Night o'er the ocean settles, dark and mute,
3Save where is heard the repercussive roar
4Of drowsy billows, on the rugged foot
5Of rocks remote; or still more distant tone
6Of seamen, in the anchored bark, that tell
7The watch relieved; or one deep voice alone,
8Singing the hour, and bidding "strike the bell."
9All is black shadow, but the lucid line
10Marked by the light surf on the level sand,
11Or where afar, the ship-lights faintly shine
12Like wandering fairy fires, that oft on land
13Mislead the pilgrim; such the dubious ray
14That wavering reason lends, in life's long darkling way.
Publication Start Year: 
1798
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1996-2000.
Rhyme: 
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