And, look, the underwriters’ man,
Timely, when the stevedore’s done,
Puts on his specs to pry and scan,
And sets her down—A, No. 1.
Bravo, master! Bravo, brig!
For slanting snows out of the West
Never the Snow-Bird cares one fig;
And foul winds steady her, though a pest.
Come out of the Golden Gate,
Go round the Horn with streamers,
Carry royals early and late;
But, brother, be not over-elate—
All hands save ship! has startled dreamers.
THE TUFT OF KELP
All dripping in tangles green,
Cast up by a lonely sea
If purer for that, O Weed,
Bitterer, too, are ye?
THE MALDIVE SHARK
About the Shark, phlegmatical one,
Pale sot of the Maldive sea,
The sleek little pilot-fish, azure and slim,
How alert in attendance be.
From his saw-pit of mouth, from his charnel
They have nothing of harm to dread,
But liquidly glide on his ghastly flank
Or before his Gorgonian head:
Or lurk in the port of serrated teeth
In white triple tiers of glittering gates,
And there find a haven when peril’s abroad,
An asylum in jaws of the Fates!
They are friends; and friendly they guide him
Yet never partake of the treat—
Eyes and brains to the dotard lethargic and
Pale ravener of horrible meat.
Where is the world we roved, Ned Bunn?
Hollows thereof lay rich in shade
By voyagers old inviolate thrown
Ere Paul Pry cruised with Pelf and Trade.
To us old lads some thoughts come home
Who roamed a world young lads no more shall
Nor less the satiate year impends
When, wearying of routine-resorts,
The pleasure-hunter shall break loose,
Ned, for our Pantheistic ports:—
Marquesas and glenned isles that be
Authentic Edens in a Pagan sea.
The charm of scenes untried shall lure,
And, Ned, a legend urge the flight—
The Typee-truants under stars
Unknown to Shakespere’s Midsummer-
And man, if lost to Saturn’s Age,
Yet feeling life no Syrian pilgrimage.
But, tell, shall he, the tourist, find
Our isles the same in violet-glow
Enamoring us what years and years—
Ah, Ned, what years and years ago!
Well, Adam advances, smart in pace,
But scarce by violets that advance you trace.
But we, in anchor-watches calm,
The Indian Psyche’s languor won,
And, musing, breathed primeval balm
From Edens ere yet overrun;
Marvelling mild if mortal twice,
Here and hereafter, touch a Paradise.