The storm your slumber lulls

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Senior Member
Russian, Spanish
I am reading a poem by Roy Campbell, "Tristan Da Cunha" and I am not sure whether in the following line the subject is "The storm" or "your slumber", which is the agent of the action?

snore in the foam; the night is vast and blind;
The blanket of the mist about your shoulders,
Sleep your old sleep of rock, snore in the wind,
Snore in the spray! The storm your slumber lulls,

Roy Campbell: "Tristan Da Cunha".
  • Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    We need more context. Sentence structure in poetry can be difficult.

    The storm your slumber lulls could mean

    1. The storm lulls your slumber, or
    2. Your slumber lulls the storm

    1. seems odd - how can a storm lull slumber? I would expect a storm to disturb sleep.
    2. seems more likely, but doesn't fit with the previous lines - snore in the wind, snore in the spray - the island breathes in the wind and the spray as part of its snoring and is not disturbed.

    Is the poet saying that the island is oblivious to the storm and sleeps despite it (1.) or that the storm is calmed by the island's ability to absorb its energies undisturbed (2.)?

    You have a comma after "lulls", what is the rest of the sentence?


    Senior Member
    I think the storm is lulling the slumber, because the waves are rocking, like with a cradle. I've actually heard of storms putting people to sleep a lot.


    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    I agree that the storm is doing the lulling. To whom (or what) is the poem addressed? Who (and where) is "you"? Knowing that would help us make sense of the verse.


    Senior Member
    English UK
    You have a comma after "lulls", what is the rest of the sentence?
    Unfortunately, bloomcountry is limited to quoting four lines of poetry by the rules;)
    Post 3 in this link shows the next two lines, which talk about his (= the storm's) wings being folded over the island's boulders like gulls' wings over eggs.
    I agree with lian's interpretation and with your option 1: the storm is lulling the island's slumber.

    EDIT: PS to Cagey: I'm assuming the poem's addressing the island of Tristan da Cunha. But I should have learnt by now that assumptions are dangerous:D
    Last edited:


    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    I'm sure that you are right about the poem's addresssee, and that your geography is better than mine.

    In that case, I am confident that the storm is lulling the island's slumber. On the other hand, a quick survey of the internet suggests that the island is not particularly stormy; I suspect this is a conventional description of an island, not a description informed by this island's distinctive characteristics.
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