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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Afternoon landscape: poems and translations, The last Palatine light. (search)
The last Palatine light. [One of the best-known traditions of our Atlantic coast is that of the Palatine light, popularly associated with the wreck, off Block Island in 1720, of a ship bearing emigrants from the German Palatinates. The light is reported as appearing at irregular intervals for more than a century, and was last seen in 1832. Its appearance is minutely described by an eye-witness, a resident physician, who saw it Dec. 20, 1810. See Sheffield: Block Island, p. 42.] RogerBlock Island, p. 42.] Roger Harlakenden climbed the hill Where no other fisherman dared to go; The east-wind was blowing bitter and chill, Sheer was the cliff and the footing slow; Handgrip on rock and knee on the sod,-- At last on the headland's height he trod. In the days of the pirates three footpaths led To that dizzy cliff; but now there was none Save for the fox, the goat, and the bird: One path o'er the seaweeds green and red; From high-water mark to the cave-mouth, one; And thence o'er the Pirates' Hill, the thir