Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE PLEASURE-BOAT [DIFFERENT VERSION], by RICHARD HENRY DANA (1787-1879)



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THE PLEASURE-BOAT [DIFFERENT VERSION], by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Come, hoist the sail, the fast let go!
Last Line: But them I hear no more.
Subject(s): Boats


COME hoist the sail, the fast let go!
They're seated side by side;
Wave chases wave in pleasant flow;
The bay is fair and wide.
The ripples lightly tap the boat;
Loose! Give her to the wind!
She shoots ahead; they're all afloat;
The strand is far behind.
No danger reach so fair a crew!
Thou goddess of the foam,
I'll ever pay thee worship due,
If thou wilt bring them home,
Fair ladies, fairer than the spray
The prow is dashing wide,
Soft breezes take you on your way,
Soft flow the blessed tide.
O, might I like those breezes be,
And touch that arching brow,
I'd dwell forever on the sea
Where ye are floating now.
The boat goes tilting on the waves;
The waves go tilting by;
There dips the duck, -- her back she laves;
O'erhead the sea-gulls fly.
Now, like the gulls that dart for prey,
The little vessel stoops;
Now, rising, shooting along her way,
Like them, in easy swoops.
The sunlight falling on her sheet,
It glitters like the drift,
Sparkling, in scorn of summer's heat
High up some mountain rift.
The winds are fresh; she's driving fast
Upon the bending tide;
The crinkling sail, and crinkling mast,
Go with her side by side.
Why dies the breeze away so soon?
Why hangs the pennant down?
The sea is glass; the sun at noon, --
Nay, lady, do not frown;
For, see, the winged fisher's plume
Is painted on the sea;
Below, a cheek of lovely bloom.
Whose eyes look up to thee?
She smiles; thou need'st must smile on her,
And see, beside her face,
A rich, white cloud that doth not stir:
What beauty, and what grace!
And pictured beach of yellow sand,
And peaked rock and hill,
Change the smooth sea to fairy-land;
How lovely and how still!
From that far isle the thresher's flail
Strikes close upon the ear;
The leaping fish, the swinging sail
Of yonder sloop, sound near.
The parting sun sends out a glow
Across the placid bay,
Touching with glory all the show. --
A breeze! Up helm! Away!
Careening to the wind, they reach,
With laugh and call, the shore.
They've left their footprints on the beach,
But them I hear no more.




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