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749                                          Qua cursum ventus

AS ships, becalm’d at eve, that lay
   With canvas drooping, side by side,
Two towers of sail at dawn of day
   Are scarce, long leagues apart, descried;
When fell the night, upsprung the breeze,
   And all the darkling hours they plied,
Nor dreamt but each the self-same seas
   By each was cleaving, side by side:
E’en so— but why the tale reveal
   Of those, whom year by year unchanged,
Brief absence join’d anew to feel,
   Astounded, soul from soul estranged?
At dead of night their sails were fill’d,
   And onward each rejoicing steer’d—
Ah, neither blame, for neither will’d,
   Or wist, what first with dawn appear’d!
To veer, how vain! On, onward strain,
   Brave barks! In light, in darkness too,
Thro’ winds and tides one compass guides,—
   To that, and your own selves, be true.
But O blithe breeze! and O great seas,
   Though ne’er, that earliest parting past,
On your wide plain they join again,
   Together lead them home at last.
One port, methought, alike they sought,
   One purpose hold where’er they fare,—
O bounding breeze, O rushing seas,
   At last, at last, unite them there!

750                                Say not the Struggle Naught availeth

SAY not the struggle naught availeth,
   The labour and the wounds are vain,
The enemy faints not, nor faileth,
   And as things have been they remain.
If hopes were dupes, fears may be liars;
   It may be, in yon smoke conceal’d,
Your comrades chase e’en now the fliers,
   And, but for you, possess the field.
For while the tired waves, vainly breaking,
   Seem here no painful inch to gain,
Far back, through creeks and inlets making,
   Comes silent, flooding in, the main.

And not by eastern windows only,
   When daylight comes, comes in the light;
In front the sun climbs slow, how slowly!
   But westward, look, the land is bright!


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