An Open Boat
O, what is that whimpering there in the darkness?
'Let him lie in my arms. He is breathing, I know.
Look. I'll wrap all my hair round his neck' - 'The sea's rising,
The boat must be lightened. He's dead. He must go.'
See - quick - by that flash, where the bitter foam tosses,
The cloud of white faces, in the black open boat,
And the wild pleading woman that clasps her dead lover
And wraps her loose hair round his breast and his throat.
'Come, lady, he's dead.' - 'No, I feel his heart beating,
He's living, I know. But he's numbed with the cold.
See, I'm wrapping my hair all around him to warm him.' -
- 'No. We can't keep the dead, dear. Come, loosen your hold.
'Come. Loosen your fingers.' - ' O God, let me keep him!' -
O, hide it, black night! Let the winds have their way!
And there are no voices or ghosts from that darkness,
To fret the bare seas at the breaking of day.
Alfred Noyes's Other Poems
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(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(13 September 1916 – 23 November 1990)
(8 February 1911 – 6 October 1979)
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(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)