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

Mark Antony De Wolfe Howe (1864–1960)

The Helmsman

WHAT shall I ask for the voyage I must sail to the end alone?

Summer and calms and rest from never a labor done?

Nay, blow, ye life-winds all; curb not for me your blast:

Strain ye my quivering ropes, bend ye my trembling mast,

Then there can be no drifting, thank God! for boat or me,—

Strenuous, swift, our course over a living sea.

Mine is a man’s right arm to steer through fog and foam;

Beacons are shining still to guide each farer home.

Give me your worst, O winds! others have met the stress:

E’en if it be to sink, give me no less, no less.