Sir Humphrey Gilbert by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Southward with fleet of ice Sailed the corsair Death; Wild and gast blew the blast, And the east-wind was his breath. His lordly ships of ice Glisten in the sun; On each side, like pennons wide, Flashing crystal streamlets run. His sails of white sea-mist Dripped with silver rain; But where he passed there were cast Leaden shadows o'er the main.
Eastward from Campobello Sir Humphrey Gilbert sailed; Three days or more seaward he bore, Then, alas! the land-wind failed.
Alas! the land-wind failed, And ice-cold grew the night; And nevermore, on sea or shore, Should Sir Humphrey see the light.
He sat upon the deck, The Book was in his hand; "Do not fear! Heaven is as near," He said, "by water as by land!"
In the first watch of the night, Without a signal's sound, Out of the sea, mysteriously, The fleet of Death rose all around.
The moon and the evening star Were hanging in the shrouds; Every mast, as it passed, Seemed to rake the passing clouds.
They grappled with their prize, At midnight black and cold! As of a rock was the shock; Heavily the ground-swell rolled.
Southward through day and dark, They drift in cold embrace, With mist and rain, o'er the open main; Yet there seems no change of place.
Southward, forever southward, They drift through dark and day; And like a dream, in the Gulf-Stream Sinking, vanish all away.