by: Mary Aldis

      y staunch little boat is tugging at its moorings
      Eager to be free,
      Eager to slip out on the great waters
      Beyond the returning tides,
      Out to the unknown sea.

      My staunch little boat, unwilling prisoner,
      Frets and pulls at the anchor chain
      While the wind calls,
      "Come! come!
      I will bear you
      Out to the unknown sea!"

      Long time my boat and I have plied the harbour
      On little busy journeyings intent,
      Long time with wistful gazing
      I have listened to the calling--
      The winds with buffeting caress,
      The waves with ceaseless urge--
      Calling "Rest, rest, rest,
      Rest on an unknown sea."

      And now we are away
      Into the mystery.
      Quietly the swaying waters
      Rock and beguile and soothe us
      That we may not know
      We are so far away.

      Along the shore
      Are hands stretched out.
      What would you with me now,
      Oh pleading hands?
      I come not to you any more,
      I have set my sail
      Out to the unknown sea,
      Would you have me stay adventuring?
      Would you have me come again
      To be amidst you
      With alien eyes and a heart unquiet?

      Oh cease your crying!
      I come not back.
      Long time my little boat and I
      Have fretted at the mooring,
      Long time we have looked out beyond the bar
      With a great questioning, and a great wonder,
      And then, an hour came which held the parting
      And we slipped
      Out, out, to the unknown sea.
      * * *
      The hands stretched out have faded from my sight,
      The shore is dim,
      The mountains fade into the limitless blue,
      Only the wind and the sea companion me,
      "Rest, rest, rest,
      Rest on an unknown sea."

"My Boat and I" is reprinted from Flashlights. Mary Aldis. New York: Duffield & Company, 1916.




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