THE EMIGRANT' SHIPS.
Those splendid ships, each with her grace, her
Her memory of old song or comrade's story,
Still in my mind the image of life's need,
Beauty in hardest
. action, beauty indeed.
They built great ships and sailed them "sounds most brave,
Whatever arts we have or fail to' have;
I touch my country's mind; I Come to' grips
With half her purpose thinking of these ships.
That art untouched by softness, all that time'
Drawn ringing hard to stand the test of brine I
That nobleness and grandeur, all that beauty
Born of a manly life and bitter duty;
That splendour 'of fine bows which yet could stand
The shock of rollers never checked ,by land.
That art of masts, sail-crowded, fit to break,
Yet stayed to strength, and back stayed into rake,
The life demanded by that art, the keen
Eye-puckered, hard-case seamen, silent, lean,
They are grander things than all the art of towns,
Their tests are tempests, and the sea that drowns.
They are my country line, her great art done
By strong brains laboring on the thought un won,
They mark out' passage as a race of men
'Earth will not see such ships as~ those again,
- John Masefield