Joy is fleet,
Sorrow slow.
Love, so sweet,
Sorrow will sow.
Love, that has flown
Ere day's decline,
Love to have known,
Sorrow, be mine!

by George Meredith.

Limerick: There Was An Old Man In A Boat

There was an Old Man in a boat,
Who said, 'I'm afloat! I'm afloat!'
When they said, 'No! you aint!'
He was ready to faint,
That unhappy Old Man in a boat.

by Edward Lear.

What! you were born, you animated doll,
Within the shadow of the Capitol?
'Twas always thought (and Bancroft so assures
His trusting readers) it was reared in yours.

by Ambrose Bierce.

A Mahomedan Ship Fireman

UP from the oven pit,
The hell where poor men toil,
At the sunset hour he comes
Clean-clothed, washed from soil.
On the fo'c's'le head he kneels,
His face to the hallowed West.
He prays, and bows and prays.
Does he pray for death and rest?

by Francis William Lauderdale Adams.

Our Boat Starts At Night

Our boat starts at night
from the beach of Yen Kuang.

Great ships sail only for profit
Only small boats come here because of your fame.
The passers-by are embarrassed by your virtue.
So in the night we steal by the place where you used to fish.

by Li Ching Chao.

Twas Such A Little—little Boat

107

'Twas such a little—little boat
That toddled down the bay!
'Twas such a gallant—gallant sea
That beckoned it away!

'Twas such a greedy, greedy wave
That licked it from the Coast—
Nor ever guessed the stately sails
My little craft was lost!

by Emily Dickinson.

The Ship That Found Herself

We now, held in captivity,
Spring to our bondage nor grieve--
See now, how it is blesseder,
Brothers, to give than receive!
Keep trust, wherefore we were made,
Paying the debt that we owe;
For a clean thrust, and the shear of the blade,
Will carry us where would go.

by Rudyard Kipling.

Had I a great ship coming home,
With big plunge o'er the sea,
What bright things, hid from star and foam,
Lay in her heart for thee!

The stormy billows heave and dip,
The wild winds veer and play;
But, regnant all, God's stately ship
Is steering home this way!

by George MacDonald.

Grotesque and queerly huddled
Contortionists to twist
The sleepy soul to a sleep,
We lie all sorts of ways
And cannot sleep.
The wet wind is so cold,
And the lurching men so careless,
That, should you drop to a doze,
Winds' fumble or men's feet
Are on your face.

by Isaac Rosenberg.

Out of a fired ship, which by no way
But drowning could be rescued from the flame,
Some men leap'd forth, and ever as they came
Near the foes' ships, did by their shot decay;
So all were lost, which in the ship were found,
They in the sea being burnt, they in the burnt ship drown'd.

by John Donne.

We Put The Urn Abord Ship

We put the urn aboard ship
with this inscription:

This is the dust of little
Timas who unmarried was led
into Persephone's dark bedroom

And she being far from home, girls
her age took new-edged blades
to cut, in mourning for her,
these curls of their soft hair

by Sappho.


WHAT ship, puzzled at sea, cons for the true reckoning?
Or, coming in, to avoid the bars, and follow the channel, a perfect
pilot needs?
Here, sailor! Here, ship! take aboard the most perfect pilot,
Whom, in a little boat, putting off, and rowing, I, hailing you,
offer.

by Walt Whitman.

The Ship Starting


LO! THE unbounded sea!
On its breast a Ship starting, spreading all her sails--an ample
Ship, carrying even her moonsails;
The pennant is flying aloft, as she speeds, she speeds so stately--
below, emulous waves press forward,
They surround the Ship, with shining curving motions, and foam.

by Walt Whitman.

Song of the Paddlers [excerpt]

Dip, dip, in the brine our paddles dip,
Dip, dip, the fins of our swimming ship!
How the waters part,
As on we dart;
Our sharp prows fly,
And curl on high,
As the upright fin of the rushing shark,
Rushing fast and far on his flying mark!
Like him we prey;
Like him we slay;
Swim on the foe,
Our prow a blow!

by Herman Melville.

My Boat Swings Out And Back

My boat swings out and back,
Moored among mint and rush.
The river's ruffled speed
Laughs in the white wind's track.
My idle fingers crush
A crinkled, scented reed.

Who needs his fate provoke?
A spirit in all things flows,
And I with them flow too,
Content to eye long boughs
Of silvering willow stroke
Slowly the summer blue.

by Robert Laurence Binyon.

At The Ship’s Rail

The blue sea bends to the ship
Like a dancer with skirts of lace—
Wide diaphanous laces that curl and dip
In the ardent wind's embrace.

Little rainbows dash at the play
And die of joy in the sun;
While over and under, the long bright day,
The sparkling footsteps run.

Lovely, melodious
Is the sound of the dance on the sea.
Softly the white robes trail and toss
Over blue waves that flee.

by Harriet Monroe.

A Lake And A Fairy Boat

A lake and a fairy boat
To sail in the moonlight clear, -
And merrily we would float
From the dragons that watch us here!

Thy gown should be snow-white silk
And strings of oriental pearls,
Like gossamers dipped in milk,
Should twine with thy raven curls!

Red rubies should deck thy hands,
And diamonds should be thy dower -
But fairies have broke their wands,
And wishing has lost its power!

by Thomas Hood.

It's like him, of course,
this little pencil portrait.
Hurriedly sketched, on the ship's deck,
the afternoon magical,
the Ionian Sea around us.
It's like him. But I remember him as better looking.
He was almost pathologically sensitive,
and this highlighted his expression.
He appears to me better looking
now that my soul brings him back, out of Time.
Out Of Time. All these things are very old
the sketch, the ship, the afternoon.

by Constantine P. Cavafy.

The Ship Of Earth.

'Thou Ship of Earth, with Death, and Birth, and Life, and Sex aboard,
And fires of Desires burning hotly in the hold,
I fear thee, O! I fear thee, for I hear the tongue and sword
At battle on the deck, and the wild mutineers are bold!

'The dewdrop morn may fall from off the petal of the sky,
But all the deck is wet with blood and stains the crystal red.
A pilot, GOD, a pilot! for the helm is left awry,
And the best sailors in the ship lie there among the dead!'

by Sidney Lanier.

Adrift! A Little Boat Adrift!

30

Adrift! A little boat adrift!
And night is coming down!
Will no one guide a little boat
Unto the nearest town?

So Sailors say—on yesterday—
Just as the dusk was brown
One little boat gave up its strife
And gurgled down and down.

So angels say—on yesterday—
Just as the dawn was red
One little boat—o'erspent with gales—
Retrimmed its masts—redecked its sails—
And shot—exultant on!

by Emily Dickinson.

I must launch out my boat.
The languid hours pass by on the
shore---Alas for me!

The spring has done its flowering and taken leave.
And now with the burden of faded futile flowers I wait and linger.

The waves have become clamorous, and upon the bank in the shady lane
the yellow leaves flutter and fall.

What emptiness do you gaze upon!
Do you not feel a thrill passing through the air
with the notes of the far-away song
floating from the other shore?

by Rabindranath Tagore.

The Cloak, The Boat And The Shoes

'What do you make so fair and bright?'

'I make the cloak of Sorrow:
O lovely to see in all men's sight
Shall be the cloak of Sorrow,
In all men's sight.'

'What do you build with sails for flight?'

'I build a boat for Sorrow:
O swift on the seas all day and night
Saileth the rover Sorrow,
All day and night.'

What do you weave with wool so white?'

'I weave the shoes of Sorrow:
Soundless shall be the footfall light
In all men's ears of Sorrow,
Sudden and light.'

by William Butler Yeats.

Under my keel another boat
Sails as I sail, floats as I float;
Silent and dim and mystic still,
It steals through that weird nether-world,
Mocking my power, though at my will
The foam before its prow is curled,
Or calm it lies, with canvas furled.

Vainly I peer and fain would see
What phantom in that boat may be;
Yet half I dread, lest I with ruth
Some ghost of my dead, past divine,
Some gracious shape of my lost youth,
Whose deathless eyes once fixed on mine
Would draw me downward through the brine!

by Arlo Bates.

My Bed Is A Boat

My bed is like a little boat;
Nurse helps me in when I embark;
She girds me in my sailor's coat
And starts me in the dark.

At night I go on board and say
Good-night to all my friends on shore;
I shut my eyes and sail away
And see and hear no more.

And sometimes things to bed I take,
As prudent sailors have to do;
Perhaps a slice of wedding-cake,
Perhaps a toy or two.

All night across the dark we steer;
But when the day returns at last,
Safe in my room beside the pier,
I find my vessel fast.

by Robert Louis Stevenson.

Song. What Boat Is This That Bears

What boat is this that bears
My soul on an ocean, fanned
By new arriving airs
From an undiscovered land?
Is this Love's magic boat, and these
The waves of his unsounded seas?

Pangs of the soul's desire
My voyage swiftly urge;
Day--long I flee, afire
To overtake the verge;
But still into infinity
Escape before me sky and sea.

Anchor, my heart; abide,
And search the seas no more.
Out of this water wide
Never shall dawn a shore,
Till wave and sun have ceased to gleam,
And wondrous truth dies out in dream.

by Robert Laurence Binyon.

Go Fetch To Me A Pint

Go fetch to me a pint o wine,
And fill it in a silver tassie;
That I may drink, before I go,
A service to my bonie lassie:
The boat rocks at the Pier o' Leith,
Fu' loud the wind blaws frae the Ferry,
The ship rides by the Berwick-law,
And I maun leave my bonie Mary.

The trumpets sound, the banners fly,
The glittering spears are ranked ready,
The shouts o' war are heard afar,
The battle closes deep and bloody.
It's not the roar o' sea or shore,
Wad make me langer wish to tarry;
Nor shouts o' war that's heard afar-
It's leaving thee, my bonie Mary!

by Robert Burns.

I saw a ship sail forth at evening time;
Her prow was gilded by the western fire,
And all her rigging one vast golden lyre,
For winds to play on to the ocean's rhyme
Of wave on wave forever singing low.
She floated on a web of burnished gold,
And in such light as praying men behold
Cling round a vision, were her sails aglow.
I saw her come again when dawn was grey,
Her wonder faded and her splendor dead — '
She whom I loved once had upon her way
A light most like the sunset. Now 'tis sped.
And this is saddest — what seemed wondrous fair
Are now but straight pale lips, and dull gold hair.

by Sara Teasdale.

Booker T. Washington

The word is writ that he who runs may read.
What is the passing breath of earthly fame?
But to snatch glory from the hands of blame--
That is to be, to live, to strive indeed.
A poor Virginia cabin gave the seed,
And from its dark and lowly door there came
A peer of princes in the world's acclaim,
A master spirit for the nation's need.
Strong, silent, purposeful beyond his kind,
The mark of rugged force on brow and lip,
Straight on he goes, nor turns to look behind
Where hot the hounds come baying at his hip;
With one idea foremost in his mind,
Like the keen prow of some on-forging ship.

by Paul Laurence Dunbar.

To Sea! To Sea!

TO sea, to sea! The calm is o'er;
The wanton water leaps in sport,
And rattles down the pebbly shore;
The dolphin wheels, the sea-cow snorts,
And unseen mermaids' pearly song
Comes bubbling up, the weeds among.
Fling broad the sail, dip deep the oar:
To sea, to sea! The calm is o'er.

To sea, to sea! our wide-winged bark
Shall billowy cleave its sunny way,
And with its shadow, fleet and dark,
Break the caved Tritons' azure day,
Like mighty eagle soaring light
O'er antelopes on Alpine height.
The anchor heaves, the ship swings free,
The sails swell full. To sea, to sea!

by Thomas Lovell Beddoes.

Where Lies The Land To Which Yon Ship Must Go?

WHERE lies the Land to which yon Ship must go?
Fresh as a lark mounting at break of day,
Festively she puts forth in trim array;
Is she for tropic suns, or polar snow?
What boots the inquiry?--Neither friend nor foe
She cares for; let her travel where she may,
She finds familiar names, a beaten way
Ever before her, and a wind to blow.
Yet still I ask, what haven is her mark?
And, almost as it was when ships were rare,
(From time to time, like Pilgrims, here and there
Crossing the waters) doubt, and something dark,
Of the old Sea some reverential fear,
Is with me at thy farewell, joyous Bark!

by William Wordsworth.

God Fashioned The Ship Of The World

God fashioned the ship of the world carefully.
With the infinite skill of an All-Master
Made He the hull and the sails,
Held He the rudder
Ready for adjustment.
Erect stood He, scanning His work proudly.
Then -- at fateful time -- a wrong called,
And God turned, heeding.
Lo, the ship, at this opportunity, slipped slyly,
Making cunning noiseless travel down the ways.
So that, forever rudderless, it went upon the seas
Going ridiculous voyages,
Making quaint progress,
Turning as with serious purpose
Before stupid winds.
And there were many in the sky
Who laughed at this thing.

by Stephen Crane.

Behold The Hour, The Boat, Arrive

BEHOLD the hour, the boat, arrive!
My dearest Nancy, O fareweel!
Severed frae thee, can I survive,
Frae thee whom I hae lov'd sae weel?


Endless and deep shall be my grief;
Nae ray of comfort shall I see,
But this most precious, dear belief,
That thou wilt still remember me!


Alang the solitary shore
Where flitting sea-fowl round me cry,
Across the rolling, dashing roar,
I'll westward turn my wishful eye.


"Happy thou Indian grove," I'll say,
"Where now my Nancy's path shall be!
While thro' your sweets she holds her way,
O tell me, does she muse on me?"

by Robert Burns.

The Doomed Ship

The doomed ship drives on helpless through the sea,
All that the mariners may do is done
And death is left for men to gaze upon,
While side by side two friends sit silently;
Friends once, foes once, and now by death made free
Of Love and Hate, of all things lost or won;
Yet still the wonder of that strife bygone
Clouds all the hope or horror that may be.

Thus, Sorrow, are we sitting side by side
Amid this welter of the grey despair,
Nor have we images of foul or fair
To vex, save of thy kissed face of a bride,
Thy scornful face of tears when I was tried,
And failed neath pain I was not made to bear.

by William Morris.

Still onward goes the barque— the tide
Bears it along where breakers foam and roar,
And oaks unbending, riven, line the shore;
Dense vapors rising, all the future hide;
And how shall he that future peril bide?
The guiding helm he eager grasps no more;
Time weighs the prow, the wave is deep beside;
Swift flows the current, fierce the gathering strife,
The struggle and the buffetings of life.
Half he recoils, yet calmly bides the test,
With hands clasped firmly on the unconquered breast;
Nor meets alone that hour with peril rife
Forth from on high the guardian Spirit bends
With ministry of love, and holy valour sends.

by Elizabeth Oakes Smith.

Lover's Gifts Viii: There Is Room For You

There is room for you. You are alone with your few sheaves of rice.
My boat is crowded, it is heavily laden, but how can I turn you
away? Your young body is slim and swaying; there is a twinkling
smile in the edge of your eyes, and your robe is coloured like the
rain cloud.
The travellers will land for different roads and homes. You
will sit for a while on the prow of my boat, and at the journey's
end none will keep you back.
Where do you go, and to what home, to garner your sheaves? I
will not question you, but when I fold my sails and moor my boat
I shall sit and wonder in the evening, -Where do you go, and to
what home, to garner your sheaves?

by Rabindranath Tagore.

Tis The Set Of The Sail -- Or -- One Ship Sails East

But to every mind there openeth,
A way, and way, and away,
A high soul climbs the highway,
And the low soul gropes the low,
And in between on the misty flats,
The rest drift to and fro.

But to every man there openeth,
A high way and a low,
And every mind decideth,
The way his soul shall go.

One ship sails East,
And another West,
By the self-same winds that blow,
'Tis the set of the sails
And not the gales,
That tells the way we go.

Like the winds of the sea
Are the waves of time,
As we journey along through life,
'Tis the set of the soul,
That determines the goal,
And not the calm or the strife.

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox.

The Sailor's Grave At Clo-Oose, V.I.

Out of the winds' and the waves' riot,
Out of the loud foam,
He has put in to a great quiet
And a still home.

Here he may lie at ease and wonder
Why the old ship waits,
And hark for the surge and the strong thunder
Of the full Straits,

And look for the fishing fleet at morning,
Shadows like lost souls,
Slide through the fog where the seal's warning
Betrays the shoals,

And watch for the deep-sea liner climbing
Out of the bright West,
With a salmon-sky and her wake shining
Like a tern's breast, --

And never know he is done for ever
With the old sea's pride,
Borne from the fight and the full endeavour
On an ebb tide.

by Marjorie Lowry Christie Pickthall.

Song From The Ship

To sea, to sea! The calm is o'er;
The wanton water leaps in sport,
And rattles down the pebbly shore;
The dolphin wheels, the sea-cows snort,
And unseen Mermaids' pearly song
Comes bubbling up, the weeds among.
Fling broad the sail, dip deep the oar:
To sea, to sea! the calm is o'er.

To sea, to sea! our wide-winged bark
Shall billowy cleave its sunny way,
And with its shadow, fleet and dark,
Break the caved Tritons' azure day,
Like mighty eagle soaring light
O'er antelopes on Alpine height.
The anchor heaves, the ship swings free,
The sails swell full. To sea, to sea!

by Thomas Lovell Beddoes.

A Boat Beneath A Sunny Sky

A BOAT beneath a sunny sky,
Lingering onward dreamily
In an evening of July --
Children three that nestle near,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Pleased a simple tale to hear --
Long has paled that sunny sky:
Echoes fade and memories die:
Autumn frosts have slain July.
Still she haunts me, phantomwise,
Alice moving under skies
Never seen by waking eyes.
Children yet, the tale to hear,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Lovingly shall nestle near.
In a Wonderland they lie,
Dreaming as the days go by,
Dreaming as the summers die:
Ever drifting down the stream --
Lingering in the golden dream --
Life, what is it but a dream?

THE END

by Lewis Carroll.

The U-Boat Crew

ALAS, alas for those blond boys who stalk
Their prey in ambush of the shuddering seas,
Whiling the wait with merry, tender talk
Of some dear knot of flower-clad cottages
Beyond the Rhine! The merchantship draws on;
Their swift torpedo strikes its mark; the sea
Moans with the dying; for a victory won
They thank the pagan god of Germany.
Happier to die the hideous, smothering death,
Too deep for mercy, in their own snared trap,
Than live to learn how time interpreteth
The cause they served; the tragical mishap
Of pride that pledged The Day and brought The Night;
—Than live to loathe their Fatherland, a name
So high, so fallen, that betrayed their bright
Young loyalty to savageries of shame.

by Katharine Lee Bates.