Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
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Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
 
Dirge for a Dead Admiral
By Samuel McCoy
 
WHAT woman but would be
Rid of thy mastery,
Thou bully of the sea?
 
No more the gray sea’s breast
Need answer thy behest;        5
No more thy sullen gun
Shall greet the risen sun,
Where the great dreadnaughts ride
The breast of thy cold bride;
Thou hast fulfilled thy fate:        10
Need trade no more with hate!
 
Nay, but I celebrate
Thy long-to-be-lorn mate,
Thy mistress and her state,
Thy lady sea’s lorn state.        15
She hath her empery
Not only over thee
But o’er our misery.
 
Hark, doth she mourn for thee?
 
Nay, what hath she of grief?        20
She knoweth not the leaf
That on her bosom falls,
Thou last of admirals!
Under the winter moon
She singeth that fierce tune,        25
Her immemorial rune;
Knoweth not, late or soon,
Careth not
Any jot
For her withholden boon        30
To all thy spirit’s pleas
For infinite surcease!
 
If, on this winter night,
O thou great admiral
That in thy sombre pall        35
Liest upon the land,
Thy soul should take his flight
And leave the frozen sand,
And yearn above the surge,
Think’st thou that any dirge,        40
Grief inarticulate
From thy bereaved mate,
Would answer to thy soul
Where the waste waters roll?
 
Nay, thou hast need of none!        45
Thy long love-watch is done!
 
 
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