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

James Jeffrey Roche (1847–1908)

The Kearsarge

IN the gloomy ocean bed

Dwelt a formless thing, and said,

In the dim and countless æons long ago,

“I will build a stronghold high,

Ocean’s power to defy,

And the pride of haughty man to lay low.”

Crept the minutes for the sad,

Sped the cycles of the glad,

But the march of time was neither less nor more;

While the formless atom died,

Myriad millions by its side,

And above them slowly lifted Roncador.

Roncador of Caribee,

Coral dragon of the sea,

Ever sleeping with his teeth below the wave;

Woe to him who breaks the sleep!

Woe to them who sail the deep!

Woe to ship and man that fear a shipman’s grave!

Hither many a galleon old,

Heavy-keeled with guilty gold,

Fled before the hardy rover smiting sore;

But the sleeper silent lay

Till the preyer and his prey

Brought their plunder and their bones to Roncador.

Be content, O conqueror!

Now our bravest ship of war,

War and tempest who had often braved before,

All her storied prowess past,

Strikes her glorious flag at last

To the formless thing that builded Roncador.