you and the poet on the Open sea


The untold want by life and land ne’er granted,
Now voyager sail forth to seek and find. 

O we can wait no longer—passage, immediate passage! the blood burns in my veins!
Cut the hawsers—haul out—up with your anchor—shake out every sail!
As in some ancient legend, there is a farewell gathering on ship’s deck and on shore, a loosing of hawsers and ties, a spreading of sails to the wind, a starting out on unknown seas,
We too take ship, hoist instantly the anchor.

(Undismay’d amid the rapids—amid the irresistible and deadly urge,
Stands a helmsman, with brow elate and strong hand,
A young steersman steering with care.
The elder encourages the younger and shows him how,
They two shall launch off fearlessly.)
 

Dear camerado!
I confess I have urged you onward with me, and still urge you, without the least idea what is our destination,
For we are starting out on unknown seas, no more returning to these shores,
To fetch up no one knows whither.
I launch all men and women forward with me into the unknown;
Joyous we too launch out on trackless seas,
Fearless for unknown shores on waves of ecstasy to sail.
 

Bound toward the unknown region,
We feel the long pulsation, ebb and flow of endless motion, the tones of unseen mystery.
We will go where winds blow, waves dash;
Amid the slapping waves, amid the wafting winds,
We will sail pathless and wild seas,
Where neither ground is for the feet nor any path to follow.
Thus we presume to travel by maps yet unmade, where mariner has not yet dared to go,
No map there, nor guide, all is a blank before us,
And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.

Now on for aye our infinite free venture wending, O farther, farther sail!
Allons! to that which is endless as it was beginningless,
Allons! the inducements shall be greater,
As we take to the open, take to the deepest, freest waters
,
Venturing, daring, as we go the unknown ways,
O daring joy, but safe! are they not all the seas of God?
The voyage we pursue does not fail. 

Long have you timidly waded holding a plank by the shore,
Now I will you to be a bold swimmer,
To give play to yourself and not depend on me, or on anyone but yourself,
To jump off in the midst of the unsounded sea, rise again, nod to me, shout, and laughingly dash with your hair.
 

Now speed on really deep waters, steer for the deep waters only,
Fair winds always fill the ship’s sails that sail thee!
O farther, farther, farther sail!

NEXT: RELIGION