Sir Humphrey Gilbert

Southward with fleet of ice
  Sailed the corsair Death;
  Wild and gast blew the blast,
  And the east-wind was his breath.
  His lordly ships of ice
  Glisten in the sun;
  On each side, like pennons wide,
  Flashing crystal streamlets run.
  His sails of white sea-mist
  Dripped with silver rain;
  But where he passed there were cast
  Leaden shadows o'er the main.

  Eastward from Campobello
  Sir Humphrey Gilbert sailed;
  Three days or more seaward he bore,
  Then, alas! the land-wind failed.

  Alas! the land-wind failed,
  And ice-cold grew the night;
  And nevermore, on sea or shore,
  Should Sir Humphrey see the light.

  He sat upon the deck,
  The Book was in his hand;
  "Do not fear! Heaven is as near,"
  He said, "by water as by land!"

  In the first watch of the night,
  Without a signal's sound,
  Out of the sea, mysteriously,
  The fleet of Death rose all around.

  The moon and the evening star
  Were hanging in the shrouds;
  Every mast, as it passed,
  Seemed to rake the passing clouds.

  They grappled with their prize,
  At midnight black and cold!
  As of a rock was the shock;
  Heavily the ground-swell rolled.

  Southward through day and dark,
  They drift in cold embrace,
  With mist and rain, o'er the open main;
  Yet there seems no change of place.

  Southward, forever southward,
  They drift through dark and day;
  And like a dream, in the Gulf-Stream
  Sinking, vanish all away.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was an American poet and educator whose works include "Paul Revere's Ride", The Song of Hiawatha, and Evangeline. more…

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"Sir Humphrey Gilbert" STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 12 Nov. 2019. <>.

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