Charles Harpur

(23 January 1813 – 10 June 1868 / Windsor, New South Wales)

The Master Mariner’s Song - Poem by Charles Harpur

(Outward Bound)
AWAY, away she plunges
With her white sails o’er her spread,
Like the summer clouds that gather
On some hill’s piny head;
Still away she plunges rampant
Like a lion roused to wrath,
And the proud wave lies humbled
I’ the track of her path.

Ye ho! my gallant sailors
Wear her head from off the land:
As his steed obeys the Arab
How she gives to the hand!
And now like a soul the world forsaking,
She leaves the coast behind,
And the main is her wide dwelling
And her spouse is the wind.

Then pledge we a full measure
To the friends we left to-day,
Whose kind wishes hover o’er us
On our watery way:
Where diurnally remind us
Shall the same bright-brimming rite
Of the eyes that yearned blessings
When last we knew their light!
. . . . .
The leaf-glancing boughs of the o’erdoming trees
Now seem in wild dance to the pipe of the breeze
As clashing and clasping in merry despite
They mass into shadow or quiver in light,
When cut by their motion the slanting moonbeam
Falls sifted like coin on the floor of the stream
That murmurs thereby like a voice in a dream,
Save when the breeze straining in lengthen’d escape
Holds open their sprays for a steadier escape,
Then too bright fragment of Night’s ripest blue
Relieving the leaf-work come transiently through,
And broad stars seem glowing as seen amid these
Like apples of fire in the tops of the trees!


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Poem Submitted: Monday, April 12, 2010



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