Elizabeth Merrill

ELIZABETH MERRILL (dates unknown) was a Lynn poet who read her poem "High Rock" as part of the public ceremonies marking Lynn's fiftieth anniversary as a city in 1900. In her poem, Merrill humanizes High Rock before describing the vista, which includes Egg Rock.


High Rock


Overlooking the town of Lynn,
So far above that the city's din
Mingles and blends with the heavy roar
Of the breakers along the curving shore;
Scarred and furrowed and glacier-seamed
Back in the ages so long ago
The boldest philosopher never dreamed
To count the centuries ebb and flow;
Stands a rock with its gray old face
Eastward ever turned, to the place
Where first the rim of the sun is seen,
Whenever the morning sky is bright,
Cleaving the glistening, glancing sheen
Of the sea with a disc of insufferable light.
Down in the earth its roots strike deep;
Up to his breast the houses creep,
Climbing e'en to his rugged face,
Or nesting lovingly at his base.

Stand on his forehead, bare and brown;
Send your gaze o'er the roofs of the town
Away to the line, so faint and dim,
Where the sky stoops down to the crystal rim
Of the broad Atlantic, whose billows toss,
Wrestling and wiltering and hurrying on
With awful fury, whenever across
His broad, bright surface with howl and moan,
The tempest whirls, with black wing bowed
To the yielding waters which fly to the cloud,
Or hurry along, with thunderous shocks,
To break on the ragged and riven rocks.

When the tide comes in on a sunny day,
You can see the waves break back in spray
From the splintered spurs of Phillips' Head;
Or, tripping along with dainty tread,
As of a million glancing feet,
Shake out the light in a quick retreat;
Or along the smooth curve of the beach,
Snowy and curling, in long lines reach
An islet, anchored and held to land
By a glistening, foam-fringed ribbon of sand-
That is Nahant and that hoary ledge
To the left is Egg Rock, like a blunted wedge
Cleaving the restless ocean's breast,
And bearing the light-house on its crest.


from: Semi-Centennial of Incorporation: Events and Excersises at the 50th Anniversary Celebration held May 13, 14, 7 15, 1900. (Lynn: The Celebration Committee) 1900.