Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE BALLADE OF THE GOLDEN HORN, by LEONARD BACON (1887-1954)

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THE BALLADE OF THE GOLDEN HORN, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: We were mariners long agone
Last Line: And die for a glimpse of the golden horn.
Subject(s): Sailing & Sailors; Yale University; Seamen; Sails

WE were mariners long agone,
Or ever the ages termagant
Had sent the gold from the gonfalon,
That flew at our fore-peak arrogant.
And whenever the breezes hesitant
Dropped and died in the silent morn,
The bent oars swung to "Byzant! Byzant!
Hark away for the Golden Horn."

And when the last of the isles were gone,
And the warm wind singing and odorant
Through the silver channels bore us on,
Stirring in mainsail and top-gallant,
High on the ratline and spar aslant
We climbed, and sang in the splendid morn;
And oh, but our song was jubilant
There in the light of the Golden Horn.

The Soldan of Antioch hath won
The city of silver and adamant,
And our high-venturing galleon
Was burned with a fire excoriant,
There by the sea-gates resonant.
And we are wounded and wretched and worn
And know the whips of the flagellant
Beyond the curve of the Golden Horn.


Princes, ye whom the years enchant,
Ye too will drink of the dregs of scorn,
Ye will sell your souls for a new Byzant
And die for a glimpse of the Golden Horn.

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