Henry Clay Work

(1 October 1832 – 8 June 1884 / Middletown, Connecticut)

The Ship That Never Returned - Poem by Henry Clay Work

On a summer's day while the waves were rippling, with a quiet and a gentle breeze;
A ship set sail with a cargo laden for a port beyond the sea.

Did she ever return? No, she never returned, and her fate is still unlearned,
But a last poor man set sail commander, on a ship that never returned.

There were sad farewells, there were friends forsaken, and her fate is still unlearned,
But a last poor man set sail commander on a ship that never returned.

Did she ever return? No, she never returned, and her fate is still unlearned,
But a last poor man set sail commander, on a ship that never returned.

Said a feeble lad to his aged mother, I must cross that deep blue sea,
For I hear of a land in the far off country, where there's health and strength for me.

Did she ever return? No, she never returned, and her fate is still unlearned,
But a last poor man set sail commander, on a ship that never returned.

'Tis a gleam of hope and a maze of danger, and our fate is still to learn,
And a last poor man set sail commander, on a ship that never returned.

Did she ever return? No, she never returned, and her fate is still unlearned,
But a last poor man set sail commander, on a ship that never returned.

Said this feeble lad to his aged mother, as he kissed his weeping wife,
"Just one more purse of that golden treasure, it will last us all through life.

Did she ever return? No, she never returned, and her fate is still unlearned,
But a last poor man set sail commander, on a ship that never returned.

"Then we'll live in peace and joy together and enjoy all I have earned."
So they sent him forth with a smile and blessing on a ship that never returned.

Did she ever return? No, she never returned, and her fate is still unlearned,
But a last poor man set sail commander, on a ship that never returned.


Comments about The Ship That Never Returned by Henry Clay Work

  • (5/21/2007 6:09:00 PM)


    I am looking for the history of 'The Ship that never Returned'. The reason it was written or perhaps any persons that were on the ship. Where the ship was sailing from. How many days before they found that it was missing? Is there any history about it? Thanks, Wilma Clay (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: fate, mother, sea, strength, summer, sad, together, peace, smile, joy, hope, kiss, friend



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003



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