Ships that Pass in the Night
The Complete Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar (New York: Dodd, Mead, and Co., 1913), Facsimile in The Collected Poetry of Paul Laurence Dunbar, ed. Joanne M. Braxton (Charlottesville and London: University Press of Virginia, 1993), p. 64. PS 1556 AI 1993 Robarts Library.
1Out in the sky the great dark clouds are massing;
2 I look far out into the pregnant night,
3Where I can hear the solemn booming gun
4 And catch the gleaming of a random light,
5That tells me that the ship I seek is passing, passing.
6My tearful eyes my soul's deep hurt are glassing;
7 For I would hail and check that ship of ships.
8I stretch my hands imploring, cry aloud,
9 My voice falls dead a foot from mine own lips,
10And but its ghost doth reach that vessel, passing, passing.
11O Earth, O Sky, O Ocean, both surpassing,
12 O heart of mine, O soul that dreads the dark!
13Is there no hope for me? Is there no way
14 That I may sight and check that speeding bark
15Which out of sight and sound is passing, passing?
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