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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

As Ships Becalmed

By Arthur Hugh Clough (1819–1861)

AS ships becalmed at eve, that lay

With canvas drooping, side by side,

Two towers of sail, at dawn of day,

Are scarce long leagues apart descried.

When fell the night, up sprang the breeze,

And all the darkling hours they plied;

Nor dreamt but each the self-same seas

By each was clearing, side by side:

E’en so—but why the tale reveal

Of those whom, year by year unchanged,

Brief absence joined anew, to feel,

Astounded, soul from soul estranged?

At dead of night their sails were filled,

And onward each rejoicing steered;

Ah! neither blame, for neither willed

Or wist what first with dawn appeared.

To veer, how vain! On, onward strain,

Brave barks!—in light, in darkness too!

Through winds and tides one compass guides

To that and your own selves be true.

But O blithe breeze! and O great seas!

Though ne’er that earliest parting past,

On your wide plain they join again,

Together lead them home at last.

One port, methought, alike they sought,—

One purpose hold, where’er they fare;

O bounding breeze, O rushing seas,

At last, at last, unite them there.