To The Ship Of State

A poem by Eugene Field

O ship of state
Shall new winds bear you back upon the sea?
What are you doing? Seek the harbor's lee
Ere 't is too late!

Do you bemoan
Your side was stripped of oarage in the blast?
Swift Africus has weakened, too, your mast;
The sailyards groan.

Of cables bare,
Your keel can scarce endure the lordly wave.
Your sails are rent; you have no gods to save,
Or answer pray'r.

Though Pontic pine,
The noble daughter of a far-famed wood,
You boast your lineage and title good,--
A useless line!

The sailor there
In painted sterns no reassurance finds;
Unless you owe derision to the winds,
Beware--beware!

My grief erewhile,
But now my care--my longing! shun the seas
That flow between the gleaming Cyclades,
Each shining isle.

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