Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
The Phantom Ship
 
    ’TWAS midnight dark,
    The seaman’s bark
Swift o’er the waters bore him;
    When, through the night,
    He spied a light        5
Shoot o’er the wave before him.
  “A sail! a sail!” he cries,
    “She comes from the Indian shore,
  And to-night shall be our prize,
    With her freight of golden ore.”        10
    Sail on, sail on;
    When morning shone,
He saw the gold still clearer,
    But though so fast
    The waves he pass’d,        15
That boat seem’d never the nearer.
 
    Bright daylight came,
    And still the same
Rich bark before him floated;
    While on the prize        20
    His wishful eyes,
Like any young lover’s, doted.
  “More sail! more sail!” he cries,
    While the wave o’er-tops the mast,
  And his bounding galley flies,        25
    Like an arrow before the blast.
    Thus on and on,
    Till day was gone,
And the moon through heaven did hie her,
    He swept the main,        30
    But all in vain,
That boat seem’d never the nigher.
 
    And many a day
    To night gave way,
And many a morn succeeded,        35
    While still his flight,
    Through day and night,
That restless mariner speeded.
  Who knows—who knows what seas
    He is now careering o’er?        40
  Behind the eternal breeze,
    And that mocking bark before!
    For O! till sky
    And earth shall die,
And their death leave none to rue it,        45
    That boat must flee
    O’er the boundless sea,
And that ship in vain pursue it.
 
 
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