Mary Hannay Foott
The Fate of Bass
On the snow-line of the summit stood the Spaniard's English slave;
And the frighted condor westward flew afar---
Where the torch of Cotopaxi lit the wide Pacific wave,
And the tender moon embraced a new-born star.
Blanched the cheek that Austral breezes off Van Diemen's coast had tanned,
Bent the form that on the deck stood stalwart there;
Slim and pallid as a woman's was the sailor's sunburnt hand,
And untimely silver streaked the strong man's hair.
From the forest far beneath him came the baffled bloodhound's bay,
From the gusty slope the camp-fire's fitful glow;
But the pass the Indian told of o'er the cliff beside him lay,
And beyond---The Mighty River's easward flow.
"Mine the secret of the Incas; to the tyrants never told;
Mine the Cloven Rock; the league long Sculptured Way!
Ere the weary scouts awaken, ere the embers are grown cold---
Ere the dogs in dreams their quarry seize and slay!"
Freedom's threshold!---yet he tarries---gazes seaward, southward still,
Past the gulfs where fainting chain-gangs toil entombed,
And the furnace of the smelter taints the winds of every hill
With the fumes that swathe the dying and the doomed.
Never, never, gallant seaman, may the land that lit thy dreams
In the starless drive make glad thine eyes again---
Where through tropic heavens at midnight the Antarctic glory streams
And a sea of blossom floods the wintry plain.
Never more the settler's welcome, at the sinking of the sun,
Nor his godspeed; mid the fragrant Austral morn!
Shattered, spent, and broken-hearted---yet a guerdon thou hast won,
And where brave souls meet thou shalt not stand forlorn.
Mary Hannay Foott's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (The Fate of Bass by Mary Hannay Foott )
Poem of the Day
- The Old Woman, Joseph Campbell
- Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- Peace. A Study, Charles Stuart Calverley
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- A Question, Robert Frost
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
- Heather Burns
(7 May 1861 – 7 August 1941)
(13 September 1916 – 23 November 1990)