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I only know the basics about William Henry Babcock (1849-1922), a lawyer who dabbled in poetry. He grew up in St. Louis and found his way to the Mid-Atlantic region by way of what was then called the Columbian University Law School and is now the George Washington University Law School. Though he lived in Washington, DC several of his works are set on the Eastern Shore, including this one about storm rolling in from the ocean toward Worcester County, Md. and the “ancient village of many-bowered Berlin”:


Rainbows along the strand,
And whitecaps out at sea!
And over the gleaming sand,
Between the waves and the land,
In the setting sun rode he.

It had tangled its gold in his hair
That the ocean breezes blew;
Like the forms of a finer air
The hovering white-wings flew;
And around him, unaware,
The world into beauty grew.

Assateague Island Aerial Sunlight Worcester County

An aerial view of Assateague Island in Worcester County, Md.

Lifted the light from the shore,
Lifted the light from the sea;
And it freighted with golden ore
The clouds that were floating free;
And it touched with an angry tinge
The long and ominous fringe
That was steadily sweeping on,
Like a host on a doomed town.
Then they faded, one by one;
And the shadows settled down.
From the tower behind him far
Outshone a new-born star;
And an answering vivid gleam
Broke in a branching stream
From the great cloud’s deepening frown;
Then, in the crash and the roar,
The wild wind swept the shore,
And the night and the storm had begun.

Peace in the ancient village
Of many-bowered Berlin,
From the sound of the surf shut in
By miles of woodland and tillage;
Reaching its winding arms,
Whose leafy canopies
Flutter with every breeze,
To the heart of the circling farms;
A fragrance in all the air
From a hundred gardens blown,
And sunflecks everywhere
In wavering kisses thrown!

–posted by Jim Duffy on April 30, 2020. I found my way to this by way of a long-since-out-print 1909 book, Maryland in Prose and Poetry.

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