Paul Laurence Dunbar

(1872-1906 / Ohio / United States)

Ships that Pass in the Night


Out in the sky the great dark clouds are massing;
I look far out into the pregnant night,
Where I can hear the solemn booming gun
And catch the gleaming of a random light,
That tells me that the ship I seek
is passing, passing.
My tearful eyes my soul's deep hurt are glassing;
For I would hail and check that ship of ships.
I stretch my hands imploring, cry aloud,
My voice falls dead a foot from mine own lips,
And but its ghost doth reach that vessel, passing, passing.
O Earth, O Sky, O Ocean, both surpassing,
O heart of mine, O soul that dreads the dark!
Is there no hope for me? Is there no way
That I may sight and check that speeding bark
Which out of sight and sound is passing, passing?

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?



Read poems about / on: ocean, dark, sky, hope, light, night, heart

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Ships that Pass in the Night by Paul Laurence Dunbar )

Enter the verification code :

  • Sylva Portoian (1/30/2010 9:19:00 PM)

    Died very young, unfair, like John Keats.
    He could have produced more!
    We should feel lucky that we are living long. (Report) Reply

  • Sara S (9/29/2009 10:49:00 AM)

    lou guzman- if you want to know more about l. dunbar, read as many of his poems as you can! morning and ships that pass in the night are just one side of his poems! (Report) Reply

  • Lou Guzman (9/24/2006 2:30:00 PM)

    I love this poem! I've only read one other poem by L. Dunbar tittled 'Morning'. I could not control my impulse do more research on the author. There is a tragic desperate tone in this poem, the helplessness of not being able to influence in any way ones need and longing and having to experience the frustration as it slips away beyond ones reach. I want to know more about this man. (Report) Reply

Read all 3 comments »

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. Wonder, shafeeqrahman rahman
  2. Disguised, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  3. Shuffling, ramesh rai
  4. Clouds., Harold R Hunt Sr
  5. The whooper, Harold R Hunt Sr
  6. The flood., Harold R Hunt Sr
  7. I can't sleep at night., Harold R Hunt Sr
  8. Matter Has No Matter, Curtlan Popo
  9. The snow is pretty., Harold R Hunt Sr
  10. The bells do ring., Harold R Hunt Sr

Poem of the Day

poet Sir John Suckling

Dost see how unregarded now
That piece of beauty passes?
There was a time when I did vow
To that alone;
But mark the fate of faces;
...... Read complete »

 

Modern Poem

poet Elizabeth Bishop

 

Member Poem

Trending Poems

  1. The Rider, Naomi Shihab Nye
  2. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  3. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  4. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  5. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  6. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  7. Nothing Gold Can Stay, Robert Frost
  8. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  9. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
  10. As I Grew Older, Langston Hughes

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]