Herman Melville

(1 August 1819 – 28 September 1891 / New York City, New York)

Crossing The Tropics


From 'The Saya-y-Manto.'


While now the Pole Star sinks from sight
The Southern Cross it climbs the sky;
But losing thee, my love, my light,
O bride but for one bridal night,
The loss no rising joys supply.

Love, love, the Trade Winds urge abaft,
And thee, from thee, they steadfast waft.

By day the blue and silver sea
And chime of waters blandly fanned--
Nor these, nor Gama's stars to me
May yield delight since still for thee
I long as Gama longed for land.

I yearn, I yearn, reverting turn,
My heart it streams in wake astern
When, cut by slanting sleet, we swoop
Where raves the world's inverted year,
If roses all your porch shall loop,
Not less your heart for me will droop
Doubling the world's last outpost drear.

O love, O love, these oceans vast:
Love, love, it is as death were past!

Submitted: Saturday, April 17, 2010

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