The Absent Ship



Fair ship, I saw thee bounding o'er the deep,

Thy white wings glancing in the morning ray

And many a sparkling eye in vain did weep

For the bold hearts that steer'd thee on thy way:

Long days of grief have lingered into years:

Return! return! and charm away their tears.



I listen'd till the music and the song

Died on the waters as she swept along;

I watch'd her stately beauty, till it grew

A fading shadow on the distant blue;

Less, and still less--the waters are alone!

Queen of the ocean! whither art thou gone?



The wintry storm hath sighed itself to sleep,

Yet still thou lingerest on the faithless deep;

Have calmer seas, and skies of deeper blue,

Charm'd thee to bid thine island home adieu!

Long has yon dark-eye'd maiden wept in vain:

Return! return! and bid her smile again.



Long may'st thou weep, but never shalt thou see

Thy fair-hair'd mariner return to thee,

Clasp thy young beauty in a long embrace,

And read his pardon in thy happy face;

Thy gentle prayers, fair mourner, could not save!

Thy sailor sleeps within the stormy wave.





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