Lyrics by Lamplight

Poems in Category: Lyrics by Lamplight

WT published a collection of his poetry in 1968 under the title ‘Lyrics by Lamplight’. The modest booklet came out in 1968 with a foreword by P. Leighton Stowell, who calls them a ‘very valuable edition to Manx Literature’.

The poems were dedicated as follows:
One August evening many many years ago six of us were reclining in a bell-tent, feet to pole, somewhere in the heart of a Manx valley. It was drawing dusk outside but inside the scene was illuminated by a hurricane lamp hanging from a peg on the pole.

No one spoke for a while, only the music of the stream just outside the tent flap could be heard. Then suddenly the irrepressible member of the group sat up and cried, ‘come on, let’s have a lyric by lamplight!’ It is in belated reply to that call, and in memory of one who has since passed on to eternal light, that this volume has been written.’

You will find here the 42 poems printed in the book, numbered in the same order, as well as two further poems that WT had hand-written into his personal copy on the back cover pages.

The ‘Lyrics by Lamplight from Weekly Times’ collection is a separate collection of poems that appeared regularly in the Manx newspaper of the same name during 1961. These appear, in alphabetical order, after the numbered entries from the Lyrics by Lamplight booklet.

For a list of titles of these poems Click here

04. Eairy Dam

The Eairy Dam lies chill, its surface flecked

Into sharp ripples by the breeze.  Reeds sway

Ever so slightly where ...

09. Curlew

Curlew in the night

Take me in your flight

Over dark restless waves

To the resonant caves

Where the tide ...

13. Nocturne

Here, where the bees are droning

Athwart the fuchsia bush,

All, all, save their intoning

Is wrapped in evening hush;...

18. Folklore

In the oil-lamp’s mellow light

Fears and fancies crowd in sight,

While outside the waiting night

Draws in eerily;

From ...

20. Two Worlds

Two worlds exist.  The one, a place of light

All coloured, bright and glittering; of time

That stretches limitless in ...

24. Wood Smoke

Tonight I smelt the smoke

Of a woodland fire.

Sudden, bitter-sweet it came,

Creating the desire

Leaping like the dead ...

29. Awake

Awake to life and feel its pulse

Beating from the heart to brain,

Teeming in the earth,

Streaming out from ...

31. Delight

Warriors win renown

And seek a victor’s crown:

They strain and strive

To keep alive

The spark that in them ...

34. Orrisdale

The silver sea, the golden sand,

The smiling meadows green and fair;

The beaming sun, the azure sky,

The charmed ...

42. Deserted Beach

Moon-green shingle, pallid sand.

The sea in molten metal sleeping;

A roving filament, bright band,

From distant lighthouse thinly creeping....


I do not know a sweeter sound

Than rain upon the thirsty ground;

A lovelier sight I’ll never see

Than ...


The smoke curled lazily

To sky that seemed asleep,

In still air hazily

The far hills melted deep,

Blurred with ...


Cold ashen light in the valley,

Rose-pink above it and grey,

Pale with the advent of twilight,

Sad with the ...

Glen Spell

Over the hushed glen

A quiet spirit broods;

Far from haunts of men

Is its solitudes.

Gaunt trees stand on ...


A medal pinned upon the breast

Is heroism self-confessed

For all the world to see;

No thoughts of meekness animate...


Tendrils that cunningly twist on the tree,

Threading in sinuous curls in the leaves;

Clasping in breathless abandon to be...

Old Mill-Wheel

Glenfaba Water Mill282Old water mill, thy lumbering wheel

Still turns in heavy majesty;

Its measured movement may reveal

The sure approach of ...


(From the French of Victor Hugo)

All alone beside the waves

I stood one starry night,

A cloudless sky was ...


It is most good to feel

Flung salt-spray on the face,

For life becomes more real

When the pulse is ...

The Whole Self

My saucy youth derides my sober age,

Mocking, haunting, refusing to be stilled:

That which was me, and wholly me, ...