With the grey clouds scudding,
And the salt-fresh rain hurling down
And the wind’s fist thudding.
There the granite mansions gleam,Shaken by the wrack;
A leaping veil of spray like steam
Writhes to the gale’s attack.
Screaming gulls are laughing-mad;Like litter on the wind
They fling across the promenade
With all the speed of mind.
Loose windows rattle day and night,Rain rapping the panes,
The scantle roofs are soaking-bright
And the stones in the lanes.
In Penlee Park the thrashing treesGroaningly give way;
The shrubs fold over to their knees,
Leaves flying like spray.
In Market Jew Street good folk huddle,The wind seizing bags;
Cats sidle primly around each puddle,
Their fur ruffled to rags.
O, what a sight is in Mounts Bay!Beneath a broiling gloom
Flint-black breakers roar their way
Onto the beach like doom.
There’s a frothing maelstrom on Battery RocksChallenged by barking dogs;
Comes a mighty spitting curler and knocks
Them away like logs.
Even the brave Scillonian boatFor all her rough-weather gear
Can’t stare a Force Nine in the throat
And slinks behind Albert Pier.
O, the far wet west is a savage place,Stark, elemental, grim;
But it calls the exile who turns his face
To that far wet rim.
© June 2013