H.M. Tomlinson.

London River online

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Online LibraryH.M. TomlinsonLondon River → online text (page 11 of 11)
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But if it were asked what was this tradition, it would not be easy to
say. Its authority is voiceless, but it is understood. Then what is
it one knows of it? I remember, on a day just before the War, the
flood beginning to move the shipping of the Pool. Eastward the black
cliffs lowered till they sank under the white tower of Limehouse
Church; and the church, looking to the sunset, seemed baseless, shining
with a lunar radiance. Upriver, the small craft were uncertain, moving
like phantoms over a pit of bottomless fire. But downstream every ship
was as salient as though lighted with the rays of a great lantern. And
there in that light was a laden barque, outward bound, waiting at the
buoys. She headed downstream. Her row of white ports diminished along
the length of her green hull. The lines of her bulwarks, her sheer,
fell to her waist, then airily rose again, came up and round to merge
in one fine line at the jibboom. The lines sweeping down and airily
rising again were light as the swoop of a swallow. The symmetry of her
laden hull set in a plane of dancing sun-points, and her soaring amber
masts, cross-sparred, caught in a mesh of delicate cordage, and shining
till they almost vanished where they rose above the buildings and stood
against the sky, made her seem as noble and haughty as a burst of great
music. One of ours, that ship. Part of our parish.


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Online LibraryH.M. TomlinsonLondon River → online text (page 11 of 11)