Henry Van Dyke

(10 November 1852 – 10 April 1933 / Germantown, Pennsylvania)

Homeward Bound


Home, for my heart still calls me;
Home, through the danger zone;
Home, whatever befalls me,
I will sail again to my own!

Wolves of the sea are hiding
Closely along the way,
Under the water biding
Their moment to rend and slay.

Black is the eagle that brands them,
Black are their hearts as the night,
Black is the hate that sends them
To murder but not to fight.

Flower of the German Culture,
Boast of the Kaiser's Marine,
Choose for your emblem the vulture,
Cowardly, cruel, obscene!

Forth from her sheltered haven
Our peaceful ship glides slow,
Noiseless in flight as a raven,
Gray as a hoodie crow.

She doubles and turns in her bearing,
Like a twisting plover she goes;
The way of her westward faring
Only the captain knows.

In a lonely bay concealing
She lingers for days, and slips
At dusk from her covert, stealing
Thro' channels feared by the ships.

Brave are the men, and steady,
Who guide her over the deep,--
British mariners, ready
To face the sea-wolf's leap.

Lord of the winds and waters,
Bring our ship to her mark,
Safe from this game of hide-and-seek
With murderers in the dark!

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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