William Bliss Carman

Here you will find the Poem A Song before Sailing of poet William Bliss Carman

A Song before Sailing

Wind of the dead men's feet,
 Blow down the empty street
 Of this old city by the sea
 With news for me!
 Blow me beyond the grime
 And pestilence of time!
 I am too sick at heart to war
 With failure any more.
 Thy chill is in my bones;
 The moonlight on the stones
 Is pale, and palpable, and cold;
 I am as one grown old.

 I call from room to room
 Through the deserted gloom;
 The echoes are all words I know,
 Lost in some long ago.

 I prowl from door to door,
 And find no comrade more.
 The wolfish fear that children feel
 Is snuffing at my heel.

 I hear the hollow sound
 Of a great ship coming round,
 The thunder of tackle and the tread
 Of sailors overhead.

 That stormy-blown hulloo
 Has orders for me, too.
 I see thee, hand at mouth, and hark,
 My captain of the dark.

 O wind of the great East,
 By whom we are released
 From this strange dusty port to sail
 Beyond our fellows' hail,

 Under the stars that keep
 The entry of the deep,
 Thy somber voice brings up the sea's
 Forgotten melodies;

 And I have no more need
 Of bread, or wine, or creed,
 Bound for the colonies of time
 Beyond the farthest prime.

 Wind of the dead men's feet,
 Blow through the empty street;
 The last adventurer am I,
 Then, world, goodby!