Sunday Poetry – Mary Tighe

Mary Tighe was an Anglo-Irish poet, born in Dublin. She married young & moved to London where she was mainly known for her poem Psyche which was much admired when it was published in 1805. Mary Tighe died in 1810 aged only 28 after suffering ill health for some years. Psyche was reprinted after her death & secured her reputation & she was quite well-known in the early 19th century. This poem, Written at Scarborough, was written in 1799. I like the imagery of the roaring ocean & the waves breaking on the shore.

As musing pensive in my silent home
I hear far off the sullen ocean’s roar,
Where the rude wave just sweeps the level shore,
Or bursts upon the rocks with whitening foam,

I think upon the scenes my life has known;
On days of sorrow, and some hours of joy;
Both which alike time could so soon destroy!
And now they seem a busy dream alone;

While on the earth exist no single trace
Of all that shook my agitated soul,
As on the beach new waves for ever roll

And fill their past forgotten brother’s place:
But I, like the worn sand, exposed remain
To each new storm which frets the angry main.

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