Treasure Island

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.

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 »

Top Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  9. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  10. Invictus
    William Ernest Henley

New Poems

  1. The Old Wheelwright, Ruth Manning-Sanders
  2. The Idiot Girl, Ruth Manning-Sanders
  3. All the Steps, John Taggart
  4. Heimdall, Ruth Manning-Sanders
  5. Orange Berries Dark Green Leaves, John Taggart
  6. Horses To Market, Ruth Manning-Sanders
  7. Foreign Wife Elegy, Yuko Taniguchi
  8. woh tadap, binod bastola
  9. Old Stalwart, Ruth Manning-Sanders
  10. Uddan, binod bastola

Poem of the Day

poet William Wordsworth

I

I AM not One who much or oft delight
To season my fireside with personal talk.--
Of friends, who live within an easy walk,
Or neighbours, daily, weekly, in my sight:
...... Read complete »

   
[Hata Bildir]