Robert Stephen Hawker (1804?-1875)

"No truer and probably no more eminent poet has been produced by Cornwall than the late Vicar of Morwenstow. His strength, however, does not lie in sonnets, though he wrote one or two excellent examples. His poetry, generally, is as fresh and bright as a sunny day on his own Cornish coasts." (Sharp)

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Pater Vester Pascit Illa

Our bark is on the waters! wide around
The wandering wave; above, the lonely sky:
Hush! a young sea-bird floats, and that quick cry
Shrieks to the levelled weapon's echoing sound:
Grasp its lank wing, and on, with reckless bound!
Yet, creature of the surf, a sheltering breast
To-night shall haunt in vain thy far-off nest,
A call unanswered search the rocky ground.
Lord of Leviathan! when Ocean heard
Thy gathering voice, and sought his native breeze;
When whales first plunged with life, and the proud deep
Felt unborn tempests heave in troubled sleep,
Thou didst provide, even for this nameless bird,
Home and a natural love amid the surging seas.

(Text from Sonnets of This Century.)