Grace Darling

Grace Darling was a 19th Century English heroine, born in 1815. She spent most of her life in her lighthouse where her father was the watchman. In 1838, she spotted a shipwreck from her bedroom window. She and her father saved nine survivors in very rough seas. Although her heroism was celebrated during her lifetime, she continued to live an ordinary life and died of tuberculosis in the lighthouse at the age of 27.

Wordsworth wrote a poem about her shortly after her death. In the words of Wordsworth,

Together they put forth, Father and Child!
Each grasps an oar, and struggling on they go–
Rivals in effort; and, alike intent
Here to elude and there surmount, they watch
The billows lengthening, mutually crossed
And shattered, and re-gathering their might;

Cooperation and commitment to a purpose larger than ourselves—how rare today, and how greatly needed! How appropriate that Grace Darling was the inspiration for one of the most beautiful love songs ever written: “Grace Darling” by the Strawbs. The song touches me on many levels, and I share it with you this Valentine’s Day.

Grace Darling by Dave Cousins

You have been my lighthouse
In every storm
You have given shelter
You have kept me safe and warm
And in my darkest nights
You have shone your brightest lights
You are my saving grace
Darling I love you.

You have been the pilot
Who guides me home
You have been the my rock
As on the seven seas I roam
And when I was becalmed
You were the strength in my arms
You are my saving grace
Darling I love you.

And when I found my back
Was torn and broken on the reef
You sailed your tiny boat
Across the dark seas of my disbelief.

You have been the anchor
And I the chain
Straining as we hold ourselves
Together in the rain
I have found you ever there
My constant keeper’s daughter fair
You are my saving grace
Darling I love you.

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