Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, MID-OCEAN, by WILLIAM ROSE BENET



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MID-OCEAN, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Leaning on the rail, looking at the lead
Last Line: Atom in the void, on the western sea!
Subject(s): Sailing & Sailors; Sea; Steamboats; Travel; Water; Seamen; Sails; Ocean; Journeys; Trips


Leaning on the rail, looking at the lead,
There was blue water under us, astern and ahead,
A million miles behind us and a million miles before
Water blue as indigo, that never knew a shore!

Where was the skyline, that shining silver thread?
Blue with blue was blended. Sea and sky were wed.
Pulsing through that blue abyss Time and Thought were dead.
Steam? We buzzed suspended in Infinity instead.

Throbbed the silly engines. Joked the silly crew.
"Sails," with palm and needle, swore—as sailors do.
"Chips" said, "Well, we've crossed it! We're coastin' down the hill!"
Liar! In that azure vault we hung stock-still.

Never was I so at peace, never so afraid.
Like the timeless time it was before the world was made.
Blue oblivion, largely lit, smiled and smiled at me,—
Atom in the void, on the Western Sea!





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