Works of Frederick Engels, 1840

St. Helena

Written: in November 1840
First published: in the Telegraph für Deutschland No. 191, November 1840
Signed: Friedrich Oswald


You proud pile in the ocean’s solitude,
Grim rock-tomb of a heart as strong as stone
That here on self-made history came to brood
And in Promethean agony died alone —
Black-cowled, you loom above the ocean’s flood,
Of all his many burnt-out candles, one
That God, in need of more illumination,
Kindled to light the work of his creation.

Well might they send the Hero to this place,
Who at the hour of the century’s birth
Lit with his firebolts history’s darkling face
And with his thunder filled all ears on earth,
Until within the walls of cosmic space
The babe’s first cry was lost as it burst forth;
Then Time threw coldly down in cruel jest
Another burnt-out stump to join the rest.