George Edward Woodberry

(1855-1930 / United States)

Homeward Bound


I
INTO the west of the waters on the living ocean’s foam,
Into the west of the sunset where the young adventurers roam,
Into the west of the shining star, I am sailing, sailing home;
Home from the lonely cities, time’s wreck, and the naked woe,
Home through the clean great waters where freemen’s pennants blow,
Home to the land men dream of, where all the nations go;
’T is home but to be on the waters, ’t is home already here,
Through the weird red-billowing sunset into the west to steer,
To fall asleep in the rocking dark with home a day more near.

II
By morning light the ship holds on, alive with happy freight,
A thousand hearts with one still joy, and with one hope elate,
To reach the land that mothered them and sweetly guides their fate;
Whether the purple furrow heaps the bows with dazzling spray,
Or buried in green-based masses they dip the storm-swept day,
Or the white fog ribbons o’er them, the strong ship holds her way;
And when another day is done, by the star of love we steer
To the land of all that we love best and all that we hold dear;
We are sailing westward, homeward; our western home is near.

Submitted: Thursday, April 22, 2010

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