Fear Not the Tempest

October 23, 2011

There was an era, not so long ago, when the spirit of exploration and adventure roamed the high seas.  Oil lamps burned on tables at home while men battled with monsters upon the waves.  From the Great Lakes to the uncharted wastelands of Antarctica, each journey evoked uncertainty, as sure as a roll of the dice.  Yet classic poems, sea-songs, and narratives reveal a burning spirit of hope, the kind that prevails against unspeakable odds.

“The Sailor and His Bride”

                                    by Isabella Valency Crawford (1850-1887)

“Let out the wet dun sail, my lads,

The foam is flying fast;

It whistles on the fav’ring gale,

To-night we’ll anchor cast.

What though the storm be loud, my lads,

And danger on the blast;

Though bursting sail swell round and proud,

And groan the straining mast;

The storm has wide, strong wings, my lads,

On them our craft shall ride,

And dear the tempest swift that brings

The sailor to his bride.”

“Fear not the tempest shrill, my heart,

The tall, white breakers’ wrath;

I would not have the wild winds still

Along the good ship’s path.

The ship is staunch and strong, my heart,

The wind blows to the strand;

Why tremble? for its fiercest song

But drives the ship to land.

Be still, nor throb so fast, my heart,

The storm but brings, betide

What may to ship and straining mast,

My sailor to his bride.”