**** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE ****

Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Poem.

Enjoy this? Share it!


The Marring Of Malyn
by [?]

Ah, Malyn, lay your forehead upon your folded arm,
And hear the grim marauder shake out the reefs of storm!
Loud laughs the surly Skipper to feel the fog drive in,
Because a blue-eyed sailor shall wed his kith and kin,
And the red dawn discover a rover spent for breath
Among the merrymakers who fondle him to death.
And all the snowy sisters are dancing wild and grand,
For him whose broken beauty shall slacken to their hand.
They wanton in their triumph, and skirl at Malyn’s plight;
Lift up their hands in chorus, and thunder to the night.
The gulls are driven inland; but on the dancing tide
The master of the Snowflake is taken to his bride.

And there when daybreak yellows along the far sea-plain,
The fresh and buoyant morning comes down the wind again.
The world is glad of April, the gulls are wild with glee,
And Malyn on the headland alone looks out to sea.
Once more that gray Shipmaster smiles, for the night is done,
And all his snow-white daughters are dancing in the sun.



The year grows on to harvest, the tawny lilies burn
Along the marsh, and hillward the roads are sweet with fern.
All day the windless heaven pavilions the sea-blue,
Then twilight comes and drenches the sultry dells with dew.
The lone white star of evening comes out among the hills,
And in the darkling forest begin the whip-poor-wills.
The fireflies that wander, the hawks that flit and scream,
And all the wilding vagrants of summer dusk and dream,
Have all their will, and reck not of any after thing,
Inheriting no sorrow and no foreshadowing.
The wind forgets to whisper, the pines forget to moan,
And Malyn of the mountains is there among her own.
Malyn, whom grief nor wonder can trouble nevermore,
Since that spring night the Snowflake was wrecked beside her door,
And strange her cry went seaward once, and her soul thereon
With the vast lonely sea-winds, a wanderer, was gone.
But she, that patient beauty which is her body fair,
Endures on earth still lovely, untenanted of care.
The folk down at the harbor pity from day to day;
With a “God save you, Malyn!” they bid her on her way.
She smiles, poor feckless Malyn, the knowing smile of those
Whom the too sudden vision God sometimes may disclose
Of his wild, lurid world-wreck, has blinded with its sheen.
Then, with a fond insistence, pathetic and serene,
They pass among their fellows for lost minds none can save,
Bent on their single business, and marvel why men rave.
Now far away a sighing comes from the buried reef,
As though the sea were mourning above an ancient grief.
For once the restless Mother of all the weary lands
Went down to him in beauty, with trouble in her hands,
And gave to him forever all memory to keep,
But to her wayward children oblivion and sleep,
That no immortal burden might plague one living thing,
But death should sweetly visit us vagabonds of spring.
And so his heart forever goes inland with the tide,
Searching with many voices among the marshes wide.
Under the quiet starlight, up through the stirring reeds,
With whispering and lamenting it rises and recedes.
All night the lapsing rivers croon to their shingly bars
The wizardries that mingle the sea-wind and the stars.
And all night long wherever the moving waters gleam,
The little hills hearken, hearken, the great hills hear and dream.
And Malyn keeps the marshes all the sweet summer night,
Alone, foot-free, to follow a wandering wisp-light.
For every day at sundown, at the first beacon’s gleam,
She calls the gulls her brothers and keeps a tryst with them.
“O gulls, white gulls, what see you beyond the sloping blue?
And where away’s the Snowflake, she’s so long overdue?”
Then, as the gloaming settles, the hilltop stars emerge
And watch that plaintive figure patrol the dark sea verge.
She follows the marsh fire; her heart laughs and is glad;
She knows that light to seaward is her own sailor lad!
What are these tales they tell her of wreckage on the shore?
Delay but makes his coming the nearer than before!
Surely her eyes have sighted his schooner in the lift!
But the great tide he homes on sets with an outward drift.
So will-o’-the-wisp deludes her till dawn, and she turns home
In unperturbed assurance, “To-morrow he will come.”
This is the tale of Malyn, whom sudden grief so marred.
And still each lovely summer resumes that sweet regard,–
The old unvexed eternal indifference to pain;
The sea sings in the marshes, and June comes back again.
All night the lapsing rivers lisp in the long dike grass,
And many memories whisper the sea-winds as they pass;
The tides disturb the silence; but not a hindrance bars
The wash of time, where founder even the galleon stars.
And all night long wherever the moving waters gleam,
The little hills hearken, hearken, the great hills hear and dream.