Herman Melville

(1 August 1819 – 28 September 1891 / New York City, New York)

The Good Craft _Snow Bird_


Strenuous need that head-wind be
From purposed voyage that drives at last
The ship, sharp-braced and dogged still,
Beating up against the blast.

Brigs that figs for market gather,
Homeward-bound upon the stretch,
Encounter oft this uglier weather
Yet in end their port they fetch.

Mark yon craft from sunny Smyrna
Glazed with ice in Boston Bay;
Out they toss the fig-drums cheerly,
Livelier for the frosty ray.

What if sleet off-shore assailed her,
What though ice yet plate her yards;
In wintry port not less she renders
Summer's gift with warm regards!

And, look, the underwriters' man,
Timely, when the stevedore's done,
Puts on his _specs_ to pry and scan,
And sets her down--_A, No. 1._

Bravo, master! Bravo, brig!
For slanting snows out of the West
Never the _Snow-Bird_ cares one fig;
And foul winds steady her, though a pest.

Submitted: Monday, April 19, 2010

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