Song from the Ship

Original Text: 
Thomas Lovell Beddoes, Death's jest-book; or, The fool's tragedy (London: W. Pickering, 1850). B-11 4357 Fisher Rare Book Library
2    The wanton water leaps in sport,
3And rattles down the pebbly shore;
4    The dolphin wheels, the sea-cows snort,
5And unseen Mermaids' pearly song
6Comes bubbling up, the weeds among.
7    Fling broad the sail, dip deep the oar:
8    To sea, to sea! the calm is o'er.
9  To sea, to sea! our wide-winged bark
10    Shall billowy cleave its sunny way,
11And with its shadow, fleet and dark,
12    Break the caved Tritons' azure day,
13Like mighty eagle soaring light
14O'er antelopes on Alpine height.
15    The anchor heaves, the ship swings free,
16    The sails swell full. To sea, to sea!


1] First published, posthumously, in 1850. In an early form the play seems to have been completed by 1830, but Beddoes added and rewrote until his death in 1848. It is a strange revenge play written in the Elizabethan manner. The Song from the Ship marks the departure of an expedition from Ancona to rescue Duke Melveric from captivity among the Moors. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
J. D. Robins
RPO Edition: 
2RP.2.337; RPO 1996-2000.