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Walter de la Mare

(1873 - 1958 / Kent / England)

Alexander


It was the Great Alexander,
Capped with a golden helm,
Sate in the ages, in his floating ship,
In a dead calm.

Voices of sea-maids singing
Wandered across the deep:
The sailors labouring on their oars
Rowed as in sleep.

All the high pomp of Asia,
Charmed by that siren lay,
Out of their weary and dreaming minds
Faded away.

Like a bold boy sate their Captain,
His glamour withered and gone,
In the souls of his brooding mariners,
While the song pined on.

Time like a falling dew,
Life like the scene of a dream
Laid between slumber and slumber
Only did seem. . . .

O Alexander, then,
In all us mortals too,
Wax not so overbold
On the wave dark-blue!

Come the calm starry night,
Who then will hear
Aught save the singing
Of the sea-maids clear?

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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