Spills the foresail, but a
Wind-flaw with a hand like stone
Hurls the boom round. In an instant
Arnold, Master, there alone
Sees a crushed corpse shot
With the gray doom in its face;
And the climbing foam receives it
To its everlasting place.
What does Arnold, Master,
Whimper like a child for dread?
That’s not Arnold. Foulest weather
Strongest sailors ever bred.
And this slip of taut sea-faring
Grows a man who throttles fear.
Let the storm and dark in spite now
Do their worst with valor here!
Not a reef and not a shiver,
While the wind jeers in her shrouds,
And the flauts of foam and sea-fog
Swarm upon her deck in crowds,
Flies the Scud like a mad
And with iron in his frown,
Holding hard by wrath and dreadnought,
Arnold, Master, rides her down.
Let the taffrail shriek through
Let the licking seas go glut
Elsewhere their old hunger, baffled!
Arnold’s making for the Gut.
Cleft sheer down, the sea-wall
Give that one port on the coast;
Made, the Basin lies in sunshine!
Missed, the little Scud is lost!
Come now, fog-horn, let your
Rip the wind to starboard there!
Suddenly that burly-throated
Welcome ploughs the cumbered air.
The young master hauls a little,
Crowds her up and sheets her home,
Heading for the narrow entry
Whence the safety signals come.
Then the wind lulls, and an
Tells of ledges, where away;
Veers the Scud, sheet free, sun breaking,
Through the rifts, and—there’s the bay!
Like a bird in from the storm-beat,
As the summer sun goes down,
Slows the schooner to her moorings
By the wharf at Digby town.
All the world next morning
Largest letters, there it stood,
“Storm in Fundy. A Boy’s Daring.
Arnold, Master of the Scud.”
Smile, you inland hills and
Flush, you mountains in the dawn!
But my roving heart is seaward
With the ships of gray St. John.
Fair the land lies, full of
Meadow island, shingly bar,
Open barns and breezy twilight,
Peace and the mild evening star.
Gently now this gentlest country
The old habitude takes on,
But my wintry heart is outbound
With the great ships of St. John.
Once in your wide arms you
Till the man-child was a man,
Canada, great nurse and mother
Of the young sea-roving clan.