The Last Contention

I

Young captain of a crazy bark!
O tameless heart in battered frame!
Thy sailing orders have a mark,
And hers is not the name.

II

For action all thine iron clanks
In cravings for a splendid prize;
Again to race or bump thy planks
With any flag that flies.

III

Consult them; they are eloquent
For senses not inebriate.
They trust thee on the star intent,
That leads to land their freight.

IV

And they have known thee high peruse
The heavens, and deep the earth, till thou
Didst into the flushed circle cruise
Where reason quits the brow.

V

Thou animatest ancient tales,
To prove our world of linear seed:
Thy very virtue now assails,
A tempter to mislead.

VI

But thou hast answer I am I;
My passion hallows, bids command:
And she is gracious, she is nigh:
One motion of the hand!

VII

It will suffice; a whirly tune
These winds will pipe, and thou perform
The nodded part of pantaloon
In thy created storm.

VIII

Admires thee Nature with much pride;
She clasps thee for a gift of morn,
Till thou art set against the tide,
And then beware her scorn.

IX

Sad issue, should that strife befall
Between thy mortal ship and thee!
It writes the melancholy scrawl
Of wreckage over sea.

X

This lady of the luting tongue,
The flash in darkness, billow's grace,
For thee the worship; for the young
In muscle the embrace.

XI

Soar on thy manhood clear from those
Whose toothless Winter claws at May,
And take her as the vein of rose
Athwart an evening grey.

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George Meredith

George Meredith was the head of the Meredith family who, with the Amos family, were the first settlers on the east coast of Tasmania. more…

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"The Last Contention" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 7 Dec. 2019. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/15627/the-last-contention>.

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