Above the shouting of the gale,
The whipping sheet, the dashing spray,
I heard, with notes of joy and wail,
A piper play.
Along the dipping deck he trod,
The dusk about his shadowy form;
He seemed like some strange ancient god
Of song and storm.
He gave his dim-seen pipes a skirl
And war went down the darkling air;
Then came a sudden subtle swirl,
And love was there.
What were the winds that flailed and flayed
The sea to him, the night obscure?
In dreams he strayed some brackened glade,
Some heathery moor.
And if he saw the slanting spars,
And if he watched the shifting track,
He marked, too, the eternal stars
Shine through the wrack.
And so amid the deep sea din,
And so amid the wastes of foam,
Afar his heart was happy in
His highland home!