Man Sails The Deep Awhile

Robert Louis Stevenson 1850 (Edinburgh) – 1894 (Vailima, Samoa)



MAN sails the deep awhile;
Loud runs the roaring tide;
The seas are wild and wide;
O'er many a salt, o'er many a desert mile,
The unchained breakers ride,
The quivering stars beguile.

Hope bears the sole command;
Hope, with unshaken eyes,
Sees flaw and storm arise;
Hope, the good steersman, with unwearying hand,
Steers, under changing skies,
Unchanged toward the land.

O wind that bravely blows!
O hope that sails with all
Where stars and voices call!
O ship undaunted that forever goes
Where God, her admiral,
His battle signal shows!

What though the seas and wind
Far on the deep should whelm
Colours and sails and helm?
There, too, you touch that port that you designed -
There, in the mid-seas' realm,
Shall you that haven find.

Well hast thou sailed: now die,
To die is not to sleep.
Still your true course you keep,
O sailor soul, still sailing for the sky;
And fifty fathom deep
Your colours still shall fly.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on April 10, 2023

50 sec read
152

Quick analysis:

Scheme ABBABA CDDCDC EFFEXE GHHGHG IJJIJI
Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 896
Words 166
Stanzas 5
Stanza Lengths 6, 6, 6, 6, 6

Robert Louis Stevenson

Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson was a Scottish novelist, poet, essayist, and travel writer. more…

All Robert Louis Stevenson poems | Robert Louis Stevenson Books

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