We journey up the storied Nile;
The timeless water seems to smile;
The slow and swarthy boatman sings;
The dahabëah spreads her wings;
How mild and fair the day, dear love! and in these garden ways
The lingering dahlias to the sun their hopeless faces raise.
The buckwheat and the barley, once so bonny and so blithe,
Fall before the rhythmic labor of the cradler's gleaming scythe.
When all the sky was wild and dark,
When every heart was wrung with fear,
He rose serene, and took his place,
The great occasion's mighty peer.
Drecker, a drawbridge keeper, opened wide
The dangerous gate to let the vessel through;
His little son was standing by his side,
Above Passaic River deep and blue,
Along the cliff I walk in silence,
While over the blue of the waves below,
The white birds gleam in the sun like silver
And ships in the offing come and go,
All night I cried in agony
Of grief and bitter loss,
And wept for Him whom they had nailed
Against the shameful cross.
O Sun, toward which the earth's uneven face
Turns ever round, strong Emperor of Day,
To thee I bring my tribute of large praise;
And yet not I; but that which in me is,
What do we plant when we plant the tree?
We plant the ship, which will cross the sea.
We plant the mast to carry the sails;
O white, white, light moon, that sailest in the sky,
Look down upon the whirling world, for thou art up so high,
All bold, great actions that are seen too near,
Look rash and foolish to unthinking eyes;
But at a distance they at once appear
In their true grandeur: so let us be wise,