Eleanore: A Story of Self-Sacrifice

Read this poem about a little handicapped girl who risked her life to save others.
  It was written by John’s paternal uncle, Buck Knoles, when Buck was 16 years old.

ELEANORE

The billowing waves dashed high –
As if to touch the clouded sky.
A storm was brewing, silently warning;
The wind howled, as if in mourning.

It was time for the lighthouse beacon to be lit,
But it stood alone, without light in it.
A young girl sat, silent with wonder,
In fear ships would be dashed asunder.

She was waiting, hopeful, yearning,
Yet in her heart, a fear was burning;
For her father, the keeper of the light
Was delayed and not back before night.

Manwhile, into the soul of the lighthouse keeper began to bore
Concern for his lame daughter Eleanore.
He thought of her in his house alone,
While he was yet so far from home.
She could never cross the rocks at night
To do his work of tending the light.

Eleanore sat with face pale as death;
The fear in her heart slowed her breath.
The light must be lit – no matter how!
If only her legs were not twisted now –
How simple it would be to light
The beacon – a finger pointing into the night.

As the ship drew ever nearer,
Eleanore began to think much clearer;
The beacon must be lit – whatever the cost
Or many lives would be horribly lost.

Without a thought for her dangerous plight,
She crawled through the storm and into the night;
Over the sharp rocks, cutting her hands,
She left drops of blood upon the sands.
Finally, she felt the pain no more;
At last she had reached the lighthouse door.

After a lifetime it seemed
A light far out into the ocean gleamed.
The lighthouse keeper, running and gasping for breath
Suddenly stood still – as pale as death:
The shining beacon could now be seen.
Amazed and thankful, standing there,
He offered to God a silent prayer.

Many lives were saved that night,
By a brave young girl who provided the light.
The ship now sailed safely away,
And the people on board saw another day.

Her father arrived and caught his breath,
For on the lighthouse floor lay someone in death.
No one can ever really know,
The effect on him – this terrible blow;
Tearfully, he knelt by the the girl on the floor:
It was his darling Eleanore.

                          – Buck Knoles, 1936

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When we consider those who gave their lives for others,
  like this handicapped girl, let’s remember the One who
    offered Himself as the supreme sacrifice for sin –
      our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Maxim of the Moment

If you risk nothing, you risk everything. - Geena Davis