Ballads of Lost Haven eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 31 pages of information about Ballads of Lost Haven.

THE SHADOW BOATSWAIN

    Don’t you know the sailing orders? 
    It is time to put to sea,
    And the stranger in the harbor
    Sends a boat ashore for me.

    With the thunder of her canvas
    Coming on the wind again,
    I can hear the Shadow Boatswain
    Piping to his shadow men.

    Is it firelight or morning,
    That red flicker on the floor? 
    Your good-by was braver, sweetheart,
    When I sailed away before.

    Think of this last lovely summer! 
    Love, what ails the wind to-night? 
    What’s he saying in the chimney
    Turns your berry cheek so white?

    What a morning!  How the sunlight
    Sparkles on the outer bay,
    Where the brig lies waiting for me
    To trip anchor and away!

    That’s the Doomkeel.  You may know her
    By her clean run aft; and, then,
    Don’t you hear the Shadow Boatswain
    Piping to his shadow men?

    Off the freshening sea to windward,
    Is it a white tern I hear
    Shrilling in the gusty weather
    Where the far sea-line is clear?

    What a morning for departure! 
    How your blue eyes melt and shine! 
    Will you watch us from the headland
    Till we sink below the line?

    I can see the wind already
    Steer the scurf marks of the tide,
    As we slip the wake of being
    Down the sloping world and wide.

    I can feel the vasty mountains
    Heave and settle under me,
    And the Doomkeel veer and shudder,
    Crumbling on the hollow sea.

    There’s a call, as when a white gull
    Cries and beats across the blue;
    That must be the Shadow Boatswain
    Piping to his shadow crew.

    There’s a boding sound, like winter
    When the pines begin to quail;
    That must be the gray wind moaning
    In the belly of the sail.

    I can feel the icy fingers
    Creeping in upon my bones;
    There must be a berg to windward
    Somewhere in these border zones.

    Stir the fire....  I love the sunlight,—­
    Always loved my shipmate sun. 
    How the sunflowers beckon to me
    From the dooryard one by one!

    How the royal lady roses
    Strew this summer world of ours! 
    There’ll be none in Lonely Haven;
    It is too far north for flowers.

    There, sweetheart!  And I must leave you. 
    What should touch my wife with tears? 
    There’s no danger with the Master;
    He has sailed the sea for years.

    With the sea-wolves on her quarter,
    And a white bone in her teeth,
    He will steer the shadow cruiser,
    Dark before and doom beneath,

    Down the last expanse, till morning
    Flares above the broken sea,
    And the midnight storm is over,
    And the Isles are close alee.

Copyrights
Project Gutenberg
Ballads of Lost Haven from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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