Christopher Pearse Cranch

(1815-1892 / the USA)

Sonnet Xii. The Ocean Steamer.

Poem by Christopher Pearse Cranch

WITH streaming pennons, scorning sail and oar,
With steady tramp and swift revolving wheel,
And even pulse from throbbing heart of steel,
She plies her arrowy course from shore to shore.
In vain the siren calms her steps allure;
In vain the billows thunder on her keel;
Her giant form may toss and rock and reel
And shiver in the wintry tempest's roar;
The calms and storms alike her pride can spurn.
True to the day she keeps her appointed time.
Long leagues of ocean vanish at her stern —
She drinks the air, and tastes another clime,
Where men their former wonder fast unlearn,
Which hailed her coming as a thing sublime.

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Poem Submitted: Friday, September 24, 2010