The Absent Ship.

Fair ship, I saw thee bounding o’er the deep,1
Thy white wings glancing in the morning ray,2
And many a sparkling eye in vain did weep3
For the bold hearts that steer’d thee on thy way :4
Long days of grief have linger’d into years :5
Return !  return !  and charm away their tears.6
I listen’d, till the music and the song7
Died on the waters as she swept along ;8
I watch’d her stately beauty, till it grew9
A fading shadow on the distant blue ;10
Less, and still less—the waters are alone !11
Queen of the ocean !  whither art thou gone ?12
The wintry storm hath sigh’d itself to sleep,13
Yet still thou lingerest on the faithless deep :14
Have calmer seas, and skies of deeper blue,15
Charm’d thee to bid thine island home adieu ?16
Long has yon dark-eyed maiden wept in vain :17
Return !  return !  and bid her smile again.18
Long may’st thou weep, but never shalt thou see19
Thy fair-hair’d mariner return to thee,20
Clasp thy young beauty in a long embrace,21
And read his pardon in thy happy face :22
Thy gentle prayers, fair mourner, could not save !23
Thy sailor sleeps within the stormy wave.24