A Song before Sailing

Original Text: 
Bliss Carman, Poems, 2 vols. (London: John Murray, 1904). E-10 1078 Fisher Library.
1Wind of the dead men's feet,
2Blow down the empty street
3Of this old city by the sea
4With news for me!
5Blow me beyond the grime
6And pestilence of time!
7I am too sick at heart to war
8With failure any more.
9Thy chill is in my bones;
10The moonlight on the stones
11Is pale, and palpable, and cold;
12I am as one grown old.
13I call from room to room
14Through the deserted gloom;
15The echoes are all words I know,
16Lost in some long ago.
17I prowl from door to door,
18And find no comrade more.
19The wolfish fear that children feel
20Is snuffing at my heel.
21I hear the hollow sound
22Of a great ship coming round,
23The thunder of tackle and the tread
24Of sailors overhead.
25That stormy-blown hulloo
26Has orders for me, too.
27I see thee, hand at mouth, and hark,
28My captain of the dark.
29O wind of the great East,
30By whom we are released
31From this strange dusty port to sail
32Beyond our fellows' hail,
33Under the stars that keep
34The entry of the deep,
35Thy somber voice brings up the sea's
36Forgotten melodies;
37And I have no more need
38Of bread, or wine, or creed,
39Bound for the colonies of time
40Beyond the farthest prime.
41Wind of the dead men's feet,
42Blow through the empty street;
43The last adventurer am I,
44Then, world, goodby!
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1998.