Songs of the Sea Children

by Bliss Carman


 

CXIII


 

The sails of the ship are white, love;
What are they?  
The hauling clouds, you say.

The ropes are weather-worn, love;
What are they?

5

The strands of rain, you say.

The lights ashore are lit, love;
What are they? 
The beacon stars, you say.

How shall we keep the course, love,

10

By night and day? 
By a secret chart, you say.

But how shall we reckon true, love,
Without time of day? 
By a tick of the heart, you say.

15

And how shall we know the land, love,
On that day? 
You smile and will not say.