[from Collected Works, T.E.Brown]
JUST mark that schooner westward far at sea
Tis but an hour ago
When she was lying hoggish at the quay,
And men ran to and fro,
And tugged, and stamped, and shoved, and pushed, and swore,
And ever and anon, with crapulous glee,
Grinned homage to viragoes on the shore.
So to the jetty gradual she was hauled :
Then one the tiller took,
And chewed, and spat upon his hand, and bawled ;
And one the canvas shook
Forth like a mouldy bat ; and one, with nods
And smiles, lay on the bowsprit-end, and called
And cursed the Harbour-master by his gods.
And, rotten from the gunwale to the keel,
Slime-slobbered, horrible, I saw her reel,
And drag her oozy flank,
And sprawl among the deft young waves, that laughed,
And leapt, and turned in many a sportive wheel,
As she thumped onward with her lumbering draught.
And now, behold ! a shadow of repose
Upon a line of gray,
She sleeps, that transverse cuts the evening rose
She sleeps, and dreams away,
Soft-blended in a unity of rest
All jars, and strifes obscene, and turbulent throes
Neath the broad benediction of the West
Sleeps ; and methinks she changes as she sleeps,
And dies, and is a spirit pure.
Lo ! on her deck an angel pilot keeps
His lonely watch secure;
And at the entrance of Heavens dockyard waits,
Till from Nights leash the fine-breathd morning leaps,
And that strong hand within unbars the gates.