The Lighthouse Keeper Wonders

By Edgar A. Guest 


The light I have tended for 40 years

   is now to be run by a set of gears.

The Keeper said, And it isn’t nice

   to be put ashore by a mere device.

Now, fair or foul the wind that blow

   or smooth or rough the sea below,

It is all the same. The ships at

   night will run to an automatic light.


The clock and gear which truly turn

   are timed and set so the light shall burn.

But did ever an automatic thing

   set plants about in early Spring?

And did ever a bit of wire and gear

   a cry for help in darkness hear?

Or welcome callers and show them through

   the lighthouse rooms as I used to do?


‘Tis not in malice these things I say

   All men must bow to the newer way.

But it’s strange for a lighthouse man like me

  after forty years on shore to be.

And I wonder now—will the grass stay green?

  Will the brass stay bright and the windows clean?

And will ever that automatic thing

   plant marigolds in early Spring?

  -- Edgar Guest



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