An Ode to Ida Lewis

from A Woman's Way by Crosscurrents Music

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Ida Lewis, Lighthouse Keeper and Sea Rescuer

Idawalley Zorada Lewis-Wilson (née Lewis) 1842 – 1911: Newport, RI. "None but a donkey, would consider it 'un-feminine', to save lives." --Ida Lewis

April Grant found this effusively mysterious poem in 2012, copied out fair in calligraphy on the wall of a house in Haydenville, MA. I have since found it on an obscure sailing webpage but with no attribution. If anyone has a reference or citation, please contact


Ida, do you still, like a mother, gaze anxiously on
When the wind calls up its tempest song,
And do you still watch o'er your favored bay
And recall the years long passed away?

Do old Malbone and Longfellow and James drop by
To fill your nights with their gay replies,
While Luce and Mahan plot history's page
From the hallowed halls of another age?

Do ever you stroll round to Coggeshall's mews
And up Castle Hill or to Cliff Walk's view,
Or roam "Bloody Alley" and the famed "Old Fifth"
Where rum, chowder, and johnny cakes scent evening's mist?

Do Trinity's bells ever charm you from sleep
To greet the full sails of a homeward bound fleet,
Can our "Red Pants Bravado" arouse the lost smile
When the waves were your family and "The Light" was your child?

Remember the secret you whispered then
On the eve of a gale to the ear of a friend,
"By gosh, had it not been for sailors and fools,
Lime Rock and I would have had nothing to do!"


from A Woman's Way, released May 18, 2018


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Crosscurrents Music Boston, Massachusetts

Lynn Noel brings traditional song and heritage arts online to create digital community. Lynn has a voice of striking clarity and power, equally at home in rhythmic chanteys and flowing ballads.

Lynn is a respected song session leader on both sides of the Atlantic and the producer and host of the Mermaid's Tavern online folk club. She has earned awards from the IUCN, NRCA, and CDSS.
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