The Dread Voyage

Original Text: 
William Wilfred Campbell, The Dread Voyage: Poems (Toronto: William Briggs, 1893), pp. 11-13. B-10 5840 Fisher Library.
1Trim the sails the weird stars under-
2Past the iron hail and thunder,
3Past the mystery and the wonder,
4     Sails our fated bark;
5Past the myriad voices hailing,
6Past the moaning and the wailing,
7The far voices failing, failing,
8     Drive we to the dark.
9Past the headlands grim and sombre,
10Past the shores of mist and slumber,
11Leagues on leagues no man may number,
12     Soundings none can mark;
13While the olden voices calling,
14One by one behind are falling;
15Into silence dread, appalling,
16     Drift we to the dark.
17Far behind, the sad eyes yearning,
18Hands that wring for our returning,
19Lamps of love yet vainly burning:
20     Past the headlands stark!
21Through the wintry snows and sleeting,
22On our pallid faces beating,
23Through the phantom twilight fleeting,
24     Drive we to the dark.
25Without knowledge, without warning,
26Drive we to no lands of morning;
27Far ahead no signals horning
28     Hail our nightward bark.
29Hopeless, helpless, weird, outdriven,
30Fateless, friendless, dread, unshriven,
31For some race-doom unforgiven,
32     Drive we to the dark.
33Not one craven or unseemly;
34In the flare-light gleaming dimly,
35Each ghost-face is watching grimly:
36     Past the headlands stark!
37Hearts wherein no hope may waken,
38Like the clouds of night wind-shaken,
39Chartless, anchorless, forsaken,
40     Drift we to the dark.
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1998.