Very Far Away.

One touch there is of magic white,1
Surpassing southern mountain’s snow,2
That to far sails the dying light3
Lends, where the dark ships onward go4
Upon the golden highway broad5
That leads up to the isles of God.6
One touch of light more magic yet,7
Of rarer snow ’neath moon or star,8
Where, with her graceful sails all set,9
Some happy vessel seen afar,10
As if in an enchanted sleep !11
Steers o’er the tremulous silver’d deep.12
O ship !  O sail !  far must ye be13
Ere gleams like that upon ye light.14
O’er golden spaces of the sea,15
From mysteries of the lucent night,16
Such touch comes never to the boat17
Wherein across the waves we float.18
O gleams more magic and divine,19
Life’s whitest sail ye still refuse,20
And flying on before us shine21
Upon some distant bark ye choose.22
—By night or day, across the spray,23
That sail is very far away.24