The Pathless Way

“ A shipwrecked sailor buried on this coast
Bids you set sail.
Full many a gallant ship, when we were lost,
Weathered the gale.”


WHY, shipwrecked brother, bid’st thou me set sail ?
The morn is dark, the stormy winds still blow;
Why bid me to succeed when thou dost fail ?
Who shall control the whirlwind in his wrath ?
How shall a man the force of waters know ?
How, through the pathless way, to find his path ?
“ Man cannot know! Behold where buried lie
My body and the treasure I had gained;
But lo ! my deathless joy can never die.”
Joy in a struggle where the prize is death ?
Joy in a rising glory quickly waned ?
Faint as a sigh and fleeting as a breath l
“ Question no more, but hoist thy tardy sail ;
Ask not the fickle wind nor adverse wave :
Some other shall succeed, though I must fail.
“ Think thou, O mariner, on the deathless joy
Of voyaging toward a beacon that shall save
Both thee and me, nor any death destroy ! ”
Annie Fields