Bon Voyage

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Bon Voyage

Child of a line accurst
And old as Troy,
Bringer of best and worst
In wild alloy—
Light, like a linnet first,
He sang for joy.

Thrall to the gilded ease
Of every day,
Mocker of all degrees
And always gay,
Child of the Cyclades
And of Broadway—

Laughing and half divine
The boy began,
Drunk with a woodland wine
Thessalian:
But there was rue to twine
The pipes of Pan.

Therefore he skipped and flew
The more along,
Vivid and always new
And always wrong,
Knowing his only clew
A siren song.

Careless of each and all
He gave and spent:
Feast or a funeral
He laughed and went,
Laughing to be so small
In the event.

Told of his own deceit
By many a tongue,
Flayed for his long defeat
By being young,
Lured by the fateful sweet
Of songs unsung—

Knowing it in his heart,
But knowing not
The secret of an art
That few forgot,
He played the twinkling part
That was his lot.

And when the twinkle died,
As twinkles do,
He pushed himself aside
And out of view:
Out with the wind and tide,
Before we knew.

Edwin Arlington Robinson

As you map out the future, do it in pencil. The road ahead is as long as you make it.

Jon Bon Jovi

Future prospects of this voyage are entirely uncertain, as the savages strive to throw every impediment in our way.

Zebulon Pike

Life's a voyage that's homeward bound.

Herman Melville

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.

Marcel Proust

Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quietest chambers, that the mind can never break off from the journey.

Pat Conroy

No wind serves him who addresses his voyage to no certain port.

Michel de Montaigne

He that embarks on the voyage of life will always wish to advance rather by the impulse of the wind than the strokes of the oar; and many fold in their passage; while they lie waiting for the gale.'

Samuel Johnson

Success is not a harbor but a voyage with its own perils to the spirit. The game of life is to come up a winner, to be a success, or to achieve what we set out to do.

Richard M. Nixon

Eulogy To A Hell Of A Dame

some dogs who sleep ay night
must dream of bones
and I remember your bones
in flesh
and best
in that dark green dress
and those high-heeled bright
black shoes,
you always cursed when you drank,
your hair coimng down you
wanted to explode out of
what was holding you:
rotten memories of a
rotten
past, and
you finally got
out
by dying,
leaving me with the
rotten
present;
you've been dead
28 years
yet I remember you
better than any of
the rest;
you were the only one
who understood
the futility of the
arrangement of
life;
all the others were only
displeased with
trivial segments,
carped
nonsensically about
nonsense;
Jane, you were
killed by
knowing too much.
here's a drink
to your bones
that
this dog
still
dreams about.

Charles Bukowski

Vain Venture

To have a business of my own
With toil and tears,
I wore my fingers to the bone
For weary years.
With stoic heart, for sordid gold
In patient pain
My life and liberty I sold
For others gain.

I scrimped and scraped, as cent by cent
My savings grew;
I found a faded shop for rent,
Made it like new.
Above the door the paint was dry
Where glowed my name:
I waited there for folks to buy--
But no one came.

Now I am back where I began:
Myself I sell.
I grovel to a greedy man,
And life is hell.
An empty shop of bankrupt shame
I pass before,
Seeing my bitter, bleary name
Above the door.

Robert W. Service

We create those works for ourselves and our friends, and if the public enjoys it, that is only a bonus but that is not created for the public.

Christo

To a Gentleman on His Voyage to Great-Britain

While others chant of gay Elysian scenes,
Of balmy zephyrs, and of flow'ry plains,
My song more happy speaks a greater name,
Feels higher motives and a nobler flame.
For thee, O R-----, the muse attunes her strings,
And mounts sublime above inferior things.
I sing not now of green embow'ring woods,
I sing not now the daughters of the floods,
I sing not of the storms o'er ocean driv'n,
And how they howl'd along the waste of heav'n.
But I to R----- would paint the British shore,
And vast Atlantic, not untry'd before:
Thy life impair'd commands thee to arise,
Leave these bleak regions and inclement skies,
Where chilling winds return the winter past,
And nature shudders at the furious blast.

O thou stupendous, earth-enclosing main
Exert thy wonders to the world again!
If ere thy pow'r prolong'd the fleeting breath,
Turn'd back the shafts, and mock'd the gates of death,
If ere thine air dispens'd an healing pow'r,
Or snatch'd the victim from the fatal hour,
This equal case demands thine equal care,
And equal wonders may this patient share.
But unavailing, frantic is the dream
To hope thine aid without the aid of him
Who gave thee birth and taught thee where to flow,
And in thy waves his various blessings show.
May R----- return to view his native shore
Replete with vigour not his own before,
Then shall we see with pleasure and surprise,
And own thy work, great Ruler of the skies!

Phillis Wheatley

Hudson's Last Voyage

June 22, 1611

THE SHALLOP ON HUDSON BAY

One sail in sight upon the lonely sea
And only one, God knows! For never ship
But mine broke through the icy gates that guard
These waters, greater grown than any since
We left the shores of England. We were first,
My men, to battle in between the bergs
And floes to these wide waves. This gulf is mine;
I name it! and that flying sail is mine!
And there, hull-down below that flying sail,
The ship that staggers home is mine, mine, mine!
My ship Discoverie!
The sullen dogs
Of mutineers, the bitches' whelps that snatched
Their food and bit the hand that nourished them,
Have stolen her. You ingrate Henry Greene,
I picked you from the gutter of Houndsditch,
And paid your debts, and kept you in my house,
And brought you here to make a man of you!
You Robert Juet, ancient, crafty man,
Toothless and tremulous, how many times
Have I employed you as a master's mate
To give you bread? And you Abacuck Prickett,
You sailor-clerk, you salted puritan,
You knew the plot and silently agreed,
Salving your conscience with a pious lie!
Yes, all of you -- hounds, rebels, thieves! Bring back
My ship!
Too late, -- I rave, -- they cannot hear
My voice: and if they heard, a drunken laugh
Would be their answer; for their minds have caught
The fatal firmness of the fool's resolve,
That looks like courage but is only fear.
They'll blunder on, and lose my ship, and drown, --
Or blunder home to England and be hanged.
Their skeletons will rattle in the chains
Of some tall gibbet on the Channel cliffs,
While passing mariners look up and say:
"Those are the rotten bones of Hudson's men
"Who left their captain in the frozen North!"

O God of justice, why hast Thou ordained
Plans of the wise and actions of the brave
Dependent on the aid of fools and cowards?
Look, -- there she goes, -- her topsails in the sun
Gleam from the ragged ocean edge, and drop
Clean out of sight! So let the traitors go
Clean out of mind! We'll think of braver things!
Come closer in the boat, my friends. John King,
You take the tiller, keep her head nor'west.
You Philip Staffe, the only one who chose
Freely to share our little shallop's fate,
Rather than travel in the hell-bound ship, --
Too good an English seaman to desert
These crippled comrades, -- try to make them rest
More easy on the thwarts. And John, my son,
My little shipmate, come and lean your head
Against your father's knee. Do you recall
That April morn in Ethelburga's church,
Five years ago, when side by side we kneeled
To take the sacrament with all our men,
Before the Hopewell left St. Catherine's docks
On our first voyage? It was then I vowed
My sailor-soul and years to search the sea
Until we found the water-path that leads
From Europe into Asia.
I believe
That God has poured the ocean round His world,
Not to divide, but to unite the lands.
And all the English captains that have dared
In little ships to plough uncharted waves, --
Davis and Drake, Hawkins and Frobisher,
Raleigh and Gilbert, -- all the other names, --
Are written in the chivalry of God
As men who served His purpose. I would claim
A place among that knighthood of the sea;
And I have earned it, though my quest should fail!
For, mark me well, the honour of our life
Derives from this: to have a certain aim
Before us always, which our will must seek
Amid the peril of uncertain ways.
Then, though we miss the goal, our search is crowned
With courage, and we find along our path
A rich reward of unexpected things.
Press towards the aim: take fortune as it fares!

I know not why, but something in my heart
Has always whispered, "Westward seek your goal!"
Three times they sent me east, but still I turned
The bowsprit west, and felt among the floes
Of ruttling ice along the Gröneland coast,
And down the rugged shore of Newfoundland,
And past the rocky capes and wooded bays
Where Gosnold sailed, -- like one who feels his way
With outstretched hand across a darkened room, --
I groped among the inlets and the isles,
To find the passage to the Land of Spice.
I have not found it yet, -- but I have found
Things worth the finding!
Son, have you forgot
Those mellow autumn days, two years ago,
When first we sent our little ship Half-Moon, --
The flag of Holland floating at her peak, --
Across a sandy bar, and sounded in
Among the channels, to a goodly bay
Where all the navies of the world could ride?
A fertile island that the redmen called
Manhattan, lay above the bay: the land
Around was bountiful and friendly fair.
But never land was fair enough to hold
The seaman from the calling of the sea.
And so we bore to westward of the isle,
Along a mighty inlet, where the tide
Was troubled by a downward-flowing flood
That seemed to come from far away, -- perhaps
From some mysterious gulf of Tartary?

Inland we held our course; by palisades
Of naked rock where giants might have built
Their fortress; and by rolling hills adorned
With forests rich in timber for great ships;
Through narrows where the mountains shut us in
With frowning cliffs that seemed to bar the stream;
And then through open reaches where the banks
Sloped to the water gently, with their fields
Of corn and lentils smiling in the sun.
Ten days we voyaged through that placid land,
Until we came to shoals, and sent a boat
Upstream to find, -- what I already knew, --
We travelled on a river, not a strait.

But what a river! God has never poured
A stream more royal through a land more rich.
Even now I see it flowing in my dream,
While coming ages people it with men
Of manhood equal to the river's pride.
I see the wigwams of the redmen changed
To ample houses, and the tiny plots
Of maize and green tobacco broadened out
To prosperous farms, that spread o'er hill and dale
The many-coloured mantle of their crops;
I see the terraced vineyard on the slope
Where now the fox-grape loops its tangled vine;
And cattle feeding where the red deer roam;
And wild-bees gathered into busy hives,
To store the silver comb with golden sweet;
And all the promised land begins to flow
With milk and honey. Stately manors rise
Along the banks, and castles top the hills,
And little villages grow populous with trade,
Until the river runs as proudly as the Rhine, --
The thread that links a hundred towns and towers!
And looking deeper in my dream, I see
A mighty city covering the isle
They call Manhattan, equal in her state
To all the older capitals of earth, --
The gateway city of a golden world, --
A city girt with masts, and crowned with spires,
And swarming with a host of busy men,
While to her open door across the bay
The ships of all the nations flock like doves.
My name will be remembered there, for men
Will say, "This river and this isle were found
By Henry Hudson, on his way to seek
The Northwest Passage into Farthest Inde."

Yes! yes! I sought it then, I seek it still, --
My great adventure and my guiding star!
For look ye, friends, our voyage is not done;
We hold by hope as long as life endures!
Somewhere among these floating fields of ice,
Somewhere along this westward widening bay,
Somewhere beneath this luminous northern night,
The channel opens to the Orient, --
I know it, -- and some day a little ship
Will push her bowsprit in, and battle through!
And why not ours, -- to-morrow, -- who can tell?
The lucky chance awaits the fearless heart!
These are the longest days of all the year;
The world is round and God is everywhere,
And while our shallop floats we still can steer.
So point her up, John King, nor'west by north.
We 'l1 keep the honour of a certain aim
Amid the peril of uncertain ways,
And sail ahead, and leave the rest to God.

Henry Van Dyke

At a Hasty Wedding

If hours be years the twain are blest,
For now they solace swift desire
By bonds of every bond the best,
If hours be years. The twain are blest
Do eastern stars slope never west,
Nor pallid ashes follow fire:
If hours be years the twain are blest,
For now they solace swift desire.

Thomas Hardy

THE SEA-VOYAGE.

MANY a day and night my bark stood ready laden;
Waiting fav'ring winds, I sat with true friends round me,
Pledging me to patience and to courage,
In the haven.

And they spoke thus with impatience twofold:
"Gladly pray we for thy rapid passage,
Gladly for thy happy voyage; fortune
In the distant world is waiting for thee,
In our arms thoult find thy prize, and love too,
When returning."

And when morning came, arose an uproar,
And the sailors' joyous shouts awoke us;
All was stirring, all was living, moving,
Bent on sailing with the first kind zephyr.

And the sails soon in the breeze are swelling,
And the sun with fiery love invites us;
Fill'd the sails are, clouds on high are floating,
On the shore each friend exulting raises
Songs of hope, in giddy joy expecting
Joy the voyage through, as on the morn of sailing,
And the earliest starry nights so radiant.

But by God-sent changing winds ere long he's driven
Sideways from the course he had intended,
And he feigns as though he would surrender,
While he gently striveth to outwit them,

To his goal, e'en when thus press'd, still faithful.
But from out the damp grey distance rising,
Softly now the storm proclaims its advent,
Presseth down each bird upon the waters,
Presseth down the throbbing hearts of mortals.
And it cometh. At its stubborn fury,
Wisely ev'ry sail the seaman striketh;
With the anguish-laden ball are sporting
Wind and water.

And on yonder shore are gather'd standing,
Friends and lovers, trembling for the bold one:
"Why, alas, remain'd he here not with us!
Ah, the tempest! Cast away by fortune!
Must the good one perish in this fashion?
Might not he perchance.... Ye great immortals!"

Yet he, like a man, stands by his rudder;
With the bark are sporting wind and water,
Wind and water sport not with his bosom:
On the fierce deep looks he, as a master,--
In his gods, or shipwreck'd, or safe landed,
Trusting ever.

1776.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"Just as I shall select my ship when I am about to go on a voyage, or my house when I propose to take a residence, so I shall choose my death when I am about to depart from life. "

Seneca

The Second Voyage

We've sent our little Cupids all ashore --
They were frightened, they were tired, they were cold:
Our sails of silk and purple go to store,
And we've cut away our mast of beaten gold
(Foul weather!)
Oh 'tis hemp and singing pine for to stand against the brine,
But Love he is our master as of old!

The sea has shorn our galleries away,
The salt has soiled our gilding past remede;
Our paint is flaked and blistered by the spray,
Our sides are half a fathom furred in weed
(Foul weather!)
And the Doves of Venus fled and the petrels came instead,
But Love he was our master at our need!

'Was Youth would keep no vigil at the bow,
'Was Pleasure at the helm too drunk to steer --
We've shipped three able quartermasters now.
Men call them Custom, Reverence, and Fear
(Foul weather!)
They are old and scarred and plain, but we'll run no risk again
From any Port o' Paphos mutineer!

We seek no more the tempest for delight,
We skirt no more the indraught and the shoal --
We ask no more of any day or night
Than to come with least adventure to our goal
(Foul weather!)
What we find we needs must brook, but we do not go to look,
Nor tempt the Lord our God that saved us whole.

Yet, caring so, not overmuch we care
To brace and trim for every foolish blast,
If the squall be pleased to seep us unaware,
He may bellow off to leeward like the last
(Foul weather!)
We will blame it on the deep (for the watch must have their sleep),
And Love can come and wake us when 'tis past.

Oh launch them down with music from the beach,
Oh warp them out with garlands from the quays --
Most resolute -- a damsel unto each --
New prows that seek the old Hesperides!
(Foul weather!)
Though we know their voyage is vain, yet we see our path again
In the saffroned bridesails scenting all the seas!
(Foul weather!)

Rudyard Kipling

It was said that boys should go on their first sea voyage at the age of ten, but surely this notion was never put forth by anyone's mother. If the bay were to be raised one degree in temperature for every woman who had lost the man or child she loved at sea, the water would have boiled, throwing off steam even in the dead of winter, poaching the bluefish and herings as they swam.

Alice Hoffman

Journal writing is a voyage to the interior.

Christina Baldwin
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