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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Where Lies The Land To Which The Ship Would Go?

Where lies the land to which the ship would go?
Far, far ahead, is all her seamen know.
And where the land she travels from? Away,
Far, far behind, is all that they can say.

On sunny noons upon the deck's smooth face,
Link'd arm in arm, how pleasant here to pace;
Or, o'er the stern reclining, watch below
The foaming wake far widening as we go.

On stormy nights when wild north-westers rave,
How proud a thing to fight with wind and wave!
The dripping sailor on the reeling mast
Exults to bear, and scorns to wish it past.

Where lies the land to which the ship would go?
Far, far ahead, is all her seamen know.
And where the land she travels from? Away,
Far, far behind, is all that they can say.

by Arthur Hugh Clough.

GO fetch to me a pint o' wine,
   An' fill it in a silver tassie,
That I may drink, before I go,
   A service to my bonnie 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 bonnie Mary.

The trumpets sound, the banners fly,
   The glittering spears are ranked ready;
The shouts o' war are heard afar,
   The battle closes thick and bloody;
But it 's no the roar o' sea or shore
   Wad mak me langer wish to tarry;
Nor shout o' war that 's heard afar--
   It 's leaving thee, my bonnie Mary!

by Robert Burns.

To Thomas Moore (My Boat Is On The Shore)

I.
My boat is on the shore,
And my bark is on the sea;
But before I go, Tom Moore,
Here's a double health to thee!

II.
Here's a sigh to those who love me,
And a smile to those who hate;
And, whatever sky's above me,
Here's a heart for every fate.

III.
Though the ocean roar around me,
Yet it still shall bear me on;
Though a desert should surround me,
It hath springs that may be won.

IV.
Were't the last drop in the well,
As I gasp'd upon the brink,
Ere my fainting spirit fell
'Tis to thee that I would drink.

V.
With that water, as this wine,
The libation I would pour
Should be - peace with thine and mine,
And a health to thee, Tom Moore.

July 1817.

by George Gordon Byron.

MY brigantine!
Just in thy mould and beauteous in thy form,
Gentle in roll and buoyant on the surge,
Light as the sea-fowl rocking in the storm,
In breeze and gale thy onward course we urge,
My water-queen!

Lady of mine!
More light and swift than thou none thread the sea,
With surer keel or steadier on its path;
We brave each waste of ocean-mystery
And laugh to hear the howling tempest's wrath,
For we are thine!

My brigantine!
Trust to the mystic power that points thy way,
Trust to the eye that pierces from afar,
Trust the red meteors that around thee play,
And, fearless, trust the Sea-Green Lady's Star,
Thou bark divine!

by James Fenimore Cooper.

Stars trembling o'er us and sunset before us,
Mountains in shadow and forests asleep;
Down the dim river we float on forever,
Speak not, ah, breathe not - there's peace on the deep.

Come not, pale sorrow, flee till to-morrow;
Rest softly falling o'er eyelids that weep;
While down the river we float on forever,
Speak not, ah, breathe not - there's peace on the deep.

As the waves cover the depths we glide over,
So let the past in forgetfulness sleep,
While down the river we float on forever,
Speak not, ah, breathe not - there's peace on the deep.

Heaven shine above us, bless all that love us;
All whom we love in thy tenderness keep!
While down the river we float on forever,
Speak not, ah, breathe not - there's peace on the deep.

by Dinah Maria Mulock Craik.

O it's I that am the captain of a tidy little ship,
Of a ship that goes a sailing on the pond;
And my ship it keeps a-turning all around and all about;
But when I'm a little older, I shall find the secret out
How to send my vessel sailing on beyond.

For I mean to grow a little as the dolly at the helm,
And the dolly I intend to come alive;
And with him beside to help me, it's a-sailing I shall go,
It's a-sailing on the water, when the jolly breezes blow
And the vessel goes a dive-dive-dive.

O it's then you'll see me sailing through the rushes and the reeds,
And you'll hear the water singing at the prow;
For beside the dolly sailor, I'm to voyage and explore,
To land upon the island where no dolly was before,
And to fire the penny cannon in the bow.

by Robert Louis Stevenson.

See the stars, love,
In the water much clearer and brighter
Than those above us, and whiter,
Like nenuphars.

Star-shadows shine, love,
How many stars in your bowl?
How many shadows in your soul,
Only mine, love, mine?

When I move the oars, love,
See how the stars are tossed,
Distorted, the brightest lost.
—So that bright one of yours, love.

The poor waters spill
The stars, waters broken, forsaken.
—The heavens are not shaken, you say, love,
Its stars stand still.

There, did you see
That spark fly up at us; even
Stars are not safe in heaven.
—What of yours, then, love, yours?

What then, love, if soon
Your light be tossed over a wave?
Will you count the darkness a grave,
And swoon, love, swoon?

by David Herbert Lawrence.

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