Robert Stephen Hawker

To R. S. H. by C. E. Byles

I hail’d thee poet in the days before
A dearer bond had knit my heart to thee,
Loving thee then for that thou loved’st the sea,
And wast a dweller by the storm beat shore
Where stray’d my steps of old, and ocean’s roar
Brought news from dreamland, ere the world’s decree
Set my unwilling feet, no longer free,
In toilsome paths, and exile evermore.

But for the dear sake of thy child, who late
Her plighted hand forever laid in mine,
Now shall my love confess the name of son,
O faithful seeker of the Cup Divine,
Albeit, long since, beyond the Heavenly Gate,
Thou hast achiev’d thy Quest on earth begun.

*  *  *  *  *

From The Life and Letters of R. S. Hawker, edited by C. E. Byles. The poem is signed C. E. B. and appears immediately after the title page.

Charles Edward Byles (1873 – ? ) married Hawker’s second daughter, Rosalind. In addition to The Life and Letters he also edited Stones Broken From the Rocks: Extracts From the Manuscript Notebooks of R. S. Hawker and new editions of Cornish Ballads & Other Poems and Footprints of Former Men in Far Cornwall. A journalist and poet, he worked as sub-editor on The Illustrated London News and The Sketch. His published works include Cornish Breakers and Other Poems (1909) and Rupert Brookes and Other Poems (1919), as well as Rambles in Bookland: an English Reading-Book for Junior Forms and Greek Lives From Plutarch. Charles and Rosalind had three daughters, Irene Margaret Byles, Edith Marion Hawker Byles and Rosalind Morwenna Byles.