Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
1696. Of the Lost Ship
 
By Eugene Richard White
 
 
WHAT has become of the good ship Kite?
  Where is her hull of chosen oak?
Who were the Victors, what the Fight?
  The old Wives—whom did they invoke,
That should tell them so uncannily:        5
 
“Fell through a crack in the Floor of the Sea”?
 
“Trafficked with death in a cruise fore-done,”
  The Preachers drone to the Salem Folk,
When the Sea has swallowed up the Sun
  And the white gulls glint—was it they who spoke?        10
Wes’-Sou’-West from the Devil’s Quay:
 
“Fell through a crack in the Floor of the Sea”?
 
Of the old-time Band there ’s not a man
  Who has ever told how the ship went down.
Were they marked by God with the fear-some ban?        15
  Butchered they priests in a sun-white town?
Do they harry Hell where they may be:
 
“Fell through a crack in the Floor of the Sea”?
 
Though ye searched the West to the guttering sun,
  Or the East till the baffled lights burn black,        20
Or North to the bergs till the South be won,
  The changeling shadows answer back,
And their trembling lips pale piteously:
 
“Fell through a crack in the Floor of the Sea”?
 
And when the great grim Finger becks        25
  The whining Seas from their ancient bed,
Shall some tongue speak from the world-old wrecks
  To read the log of the Thwarted Dead?
Is there never an end on the mystery:
 
“Fell through a crack in the Floor of the Sea”?        30
 

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