North and south with the fickle tides,
With the wind from east to west,
The death-ship follows her track of doom,
But finds no port or rest.
Day after day the far white sails
Come up and glimmer and die,
And night by night the twinkling lights
Crawl down the distant sky.
Day after day her black hull lifts
And sinks with the swell's long roll,
And the white birds cling to her rotting shrouds
Like prayers of a stricken soul,
But ever the death-ship keeps her track
While the ships of men sail on,
For God is her skipper and helmsman, too,
And knoweth her port alone.