Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Charles Kingsley 1819–75

A Myth


A FLOATING, a floating

Across the sleeping sea,

All night I heard a singing bird

Upon the topmast tree.

“Oh, came you from the isles of Greece

Or from the banks of Seine;

Or off some tree in forests free,

Which fringe the western main?”

“I came not off the old world

Nor yet from off the new—

But I am one of the birds of God

Which sing the whole night through.”

“Oh, sing and wake the dawning—

Oh, whistle for the wind;

The night is long, the current strong,

My boat it lags behind.”

“The current sweeps the old world,

The current sweeps the new;

The wind will blow, the dawn will glow,

Ere thou hast sail’d them through.”