Harry Kemp

(15 December 1883 – 8 August 1960 / Youngstown, Ohio)

A Shining Ship


Have you ever seen a shining ship
Riding the broad-backed wave,
While the sailors pull the ropes and sing
The chantey's lusty stave?

Have you ever gazed from the headland's reach
Far out, into the blue,
To glimpse, at first a flashing mote
That to a tall ship grew,

A full-sailed ship on the great, broad sea
Heel-down and bearing home
All the romance from Homer's days
To now, across the foam?

For, purple-white in rippling dusks,
Or edged with sunset's fire, -
Behold, each ship is a phantom ship
That bears the World's Desire! . . .

O merchant, merchant seeking wares
That tip full-laden beams,
The Living God has made your fleets
His argosies for dreams,

Far-riding argosies that go
With bearded men and strong
To the world's ends for merchandise
And come back - bearing Song!

Legends and songs of Happy Isles
And fairy realms a-far
Beyond the windless gates of dawn
And the white morning star!

Submitted: Thursday, April 15, 2010

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