Charles Kingsley

(12 June 1819 – 23 January 1875 / Devon, England)

A Myth


A FLOATING, a floating
Across the sleeping sea,
All night I heard a singing bird
Upon the topmast tree.

“Oh, came you from the isles of Greece
Or from the banks of Seine;
Or off some tree in forests free,
Which fringe the western main?”

“I came not off the old world
Nor yet from off the new—
But I am one of the birds of God
Which sing the whole night through.”

“Oh, sing and wake the dawning—
Oh, whistle for the wind;
The night is long, the current strong,
My boat it lags behind.”

“The current sweeps the old world,
The current sweeps the new;
The wind will blow, the dawn will glow,
Ere thou hast sail’d them through.”

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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  • Rookie Joy Elliott (2/16/2007 5:43:00 PM)

    When attending my junior school many years ago (I am now 69) I remember us singing a beautiful song: A floating, a floating, across the sleeping sea.....' By browsing the Net I have discovered this was in fact a poem The Myth written by Charles Kingsley. Where can I find the music please? I would love to have a copy of this.
    Many thanks for your help. (Report) Reply

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