Poetry, VOLUME 5

St. Francis De Sales – William Edward Heygate [ Poem ]

St. Francis De Sales
William Edward Heygate

Why should I wish to have my will
And seeking good secure an ill
Mid life and age have only brought
Fresh proof of what youth’s trials taught

Twas thee I sought with early zeal
Great Rome to see and hear and feel
And weary with my wandering chose
A peaceful lodging for repose
Whence I could watch with thoughtful eye
Historic Tiber rolling by
From many a shrine my weary feet
I dragged at eve to my retreat
And found it full of richer guests
Who urged and gained their harsh behests
The haughty menials cast me out
Homeless and faint to roam about
That night a sudden tempest brake

The broad Campagna was a lake
And Tiber’s flood by break of day
Had swept the guilty house away
Then when my pilgrimage was o er
I stood upon Ancona’s shore
And there to suit my purpose found
A vessel for fair Venice bound
I gained the deck and hoped to sail
On tranquil seas with foaming gale
When lo a dame elate with pride
The humbler passenger espied
She for herself and hers alone
Had hired the ship Twas all her own
I must depart I prayed for grace
For scanty room and meanest place
But no The Captain asked in vain
Forth was I vilely cast again
I saw the white sails slowly fill
The heavens were bright the waters still
But soon I marked an inky cloud
Rise from the deep the sky o’ershroud.


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C. Christopher Smith is the founding editor of The Englewood Review of Books. He is also author of a number of books, including most recently How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church (Brazos Press, 2019). Connect with him online at: C-Christopher-Smith.com

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