On Entering Douglas Bay

William Wordsworth

"Dignum laude virum Musa vetat mori."

The feudal keep, the bastions of Cohorn,
Even when they rose to check or to repel
Tides of aggressive war, oft served as well
Greedy ambition, armed to treat with scorn
Just limits; but yon tower, whose smiles adorn
This perilous bay, stands clear of all offence:
Blest work it is of love and innocence,—
A tower of refuge to the else forlorn.
Spare it, ye waves, and lift the mariner,
Struggling for life, into its saving arms!
Spare, too, the human helpers! Do they stir
'Mid your fierce shock like men afraid to die?
No; their dread service nerves the heart it warms,
And they are led by noble Hillary.

The Tower of Refuge is built on St Mary's Isle - the head of a reef at the mouth of Douglas Bay. The tower was founded by Sir William Hillary, who planned to build it to prevent more wrecks on the rocks. Hillary was also the founder of the RNLI - the Royal National Lifeboat Institute.