Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > Anthology of Magazine Verse for 1920
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. (1878–1962).  Anthology of Magazine Verse for 1920.  1920.
 
Deported
 
Kathryn White Ryan
 
 
THE TRANSPORTS move stealthily to sea—
The sea so prone to take strange freightage eagerly—
But this sad freightage even the sea disowns
And lifts its storms and frowns in darker mood
And never was a cargo more adrift …        5
There are no ports, no country’s flag, no waiting hands
In any land on earth for it.
Nor any home to take it in.
And all the prisons are too proud.
 
O Mayflower! Ships of Columbus!        10
And frigates and vessels of wood and of steel,
With your cargoes of gifts and your graces!
O swift laughing sails like fluttering garments of girls
Running down soft green slopes
To a dance with their lovers at Fair time!        15
O all the brave prows that advance to these shores
Like believers to the rail at communion!
Be blind! Turn away from-those ships, from those spectres,
Do not think these the cargoes we send out from our shores,
These of the darkness, in the night, in secrecy,        20
Under sealed orders!
 
O Liberty! Mother! with your head proudly erect
And your regal brow confident
And your uplifted arm
Hailing far children of earth to your sheltering;        25
O Liberty! Mother who nurses back to full strength
The offspring of breasts that are empty,
Who gives and who trusts and who welcomes in limitless trusting!
Do not look down at these ships as they pass—
Purring like cats that are clawing their kill—        30
Oh, do not notice!

  The New York Sun
 

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