Verse > Anthologies > > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse
Arthur Quiller-Couch, comp.  The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse.  1922.
The Galley of Count Arnaldos
By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882)
AH! what pleasant visions haunt me
  As I gaze upon the sea!
All the old romantic legends,
  All my dreams, come back to me.
Sails of silk and ropes of sandal,        5
  Such as gleam in ancient lore;
And the singing of the sailors,
  And the answer from the shore!
Most of all, the Spanish ballad
  Haunts me oft, and tarries long,        10
Of the noble Count Arnaldos
  And the sailor’s mystic song.
Telling how the Count Arnaldos,
  With his hawk upon his hand,
Saw a fair and stately galley,        15
  Steering onward to the land;—
How he heard the ancient helmsman
  Chant a song so wild and clear,
That the sailing sea-bird slowly
  Poised upon the mast to hear,        20
Till his soul was full of longing,
  And he cried, with impulse strong,—
‘Helmsman! for the love of heaven,
  Teach me, too, that wondrous song!’
‘Wouldst thou,’—so the helmsman answered,—        25
  ‘Learn the secret of the sea?
Only those who brave its dangers
  Comprehend its mystery!’

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