The Departure

Now the embarcation is all embarked,
Voices echo and vanish, then the tugs
Relinquish out of harbor; the wind freshens,
No longer held away by windward towers;
Dimmer the delicate coast recedes, and goes;
Now the anchor is all of it within,
The forward way is on, position quivers,
Feeling the bows go butting through the water;
With shiver and shock and easy steady thud
Of engine in the middle of the ship,
Of screw within the water’s backward cave
Driving and never ceasing swirling aft.
Now we are out, with gentle swinging up
And down along the folded prairie sea.
Now the beginning heart is high, and the Watch
Maintains a course, with all the ocean ahead.