Martin Farquhar Tupper Poems >>
The Lost Arctic
Poor Arctic! once awhile my floating home
Full of kind faces, my right royal yacht,
Alas! how swift and terrible a lot
Has caught and whelm'd thee in the billowy foam.
The gay saloon was ringing with its mirth,
—Sudden Collision comes with frightful crash,
And over all the riotous waters dash,
Rushing from deck to deck, from berth to berth!
I will not coldly try to paint in rhyme
Those thousand horrors; let the sobbing sea
Chant its wild requiem over thine and thee
And darkness spread above its pall sublime.
Rather shall memory linger on the days
When girt with friends, I somewhile paced thy deck,
Watching the distant iceberg's sparkling speck,
Or the broad sun down-setting in a blaze:
The nautilus would stretch its paper sail
Cresting the swell to catch our eager eyes,
Or petrels from the cradling trough would rise,
Or the sharp fin of some black basking whale:
And then, the merry games, and kindly looks
Of pleasant shipmates, and the noonday stakes,
How many knots an hour the good ship makes—
Rousing the dozers from their chess and books:
And then,— Woe, woe! that on such scenes as these
The Viking, Death, should like a pirate burst,
And drag them all, in gulfing waves immerst,
Down to the charnel-caverns of the seas!
All,— but the clingers to some sinking boat
Lost in the fog, or on that raft — Despair;
One — only one of seventy! — lingereth there,
While buoy'd around him upturn'd corpses float!
All,— but the Abdiel-captain of the crew,
Who, sinking nobly with his sinking ship,
Then battled back to life with dauntless lip,—
A righteous Jonah, faithful found and true.
All? yet a remnant — (of five hundred souls
Hope breathes a tithe)— miraculously saved;
Above the rest, where first that Viking raved,
His mighty banner the dark Ocean rolls!
O Life, and luxury, and hope, and health,
And suddenly — Destruction! who can know
How huge the sum of man's and woman's woe
When my poor Arctic sank with all her wealth?
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Based on Topics: Man Poems, Life Poems, Death & Dying Poems, Faces Poems, Friendship Poems, Hope Poems, Money & Wealth Poems, Books Poems, Health Poems, Games Poems
Based on Keywords: collision, nautilus, viking, cresting, somewhile, lingereth, petrels, lip-, gulfing, makes-