Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, 534, by JOHN MASEFIELD



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First Line: For ages you were rock, far below light
Last Line: Of those who speed your launching come to be.
Alternate Author Name(s): Masefield, John Edward
Subject(s): Depressions, Economic; Great Britain - Commonwealth & Colonies; Queen Mary (Ship); Sea; Unemployment; Recessions; British Empire; England - Empire; Ocean


For ages you were rock, far below light,
Crushed, without shape, earth's unregarded bone.
Then Man in all the marvel of his might
Quarried you out and burned you from the stone.

Then, being pured to essence, you were naught
But weight and hardness, body without nerve;
Then Man in all the marvel of his thought
Smithied you into form of leap and curve;

And took you, so, and bent you to his vast,
Intense great world of passionate design,
Curve after changing curving, braced and mast
To stand all tumult that can tumble brine,

And left you, this, a rampart of a ship,
Long as a street and lofty as a tower,
Ready to glide in thunder from the slip
And shear the water with majesty of power.

I long to see you leaping to the urge
Of the great engines, rolling as you go,
Parting the seas in sunder in a surge,
Shredding a trackway like a mile of snow.

With all the wester streaming from your hull
And all gear twanging shrilly as you race,
And effortless above your stern a gull
Leaning upon the blast and keeping pace.

May shipwreck and collision, fog and fire,
Rock, shoal and other evils of the sea,
Be kept from you; and may the heart's desire
Of those who speed your launching come to be.





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