John Boyle O'Reilly

(28 June 1844 - 10 August 1890 / Dowth Castle, County Meath)

Mayflower - Poem by John Boyle O'Reilly

THUNDER our thanks to her—guns, hearts and lips!
Cheer from the ranks to her,
Shout from the banks to her—
Mayflower! Foremost and best of our ships.
Mayflower! Twice in the national story
Thy dear name in letters of gold—
Woven in texture that never grows old-
Winning a home and winning glory!
Sailing the years to us, welcomed for aye;
Cherished for centuries, dearest to-day.
Every heart throbs for her, every flag dips—
Mayflower! First and last—best of our ships!

White as a seagull, she swept the long passage,
True as the homing-bird flies with its message.
Love her? O, richer than silk every sail of her.
Trust her? More precious than gold every nail of her.
Write we down faithfully every man's part in her;
Greet we all gratefully every true heart in her.
More than a name to us, sailing the fleetest,
Symbol of that which is purest and sweetest.
More than a keel to us, steering the straightest:
Emblem of that which is freest and greatest.
More than a dove-bosomed sail to the windward:
Flame passing on while the night-clouds fly hindward.
Kiss every plank of her! None shall take rank of her ;
Frontward or weatherward, none can eclipse.
Thunder our thanks to her! Cheer from the banks to her!
Mayflower! Foremost and best of our ships!

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, May 20, 2012

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