I PASSED a boat today on the shore, 

That will be launched on the sea no more.

Worn and battered the straight keel bent, 

The side like a ruined rampart rent;

Left alone with no covering,

For who would steal such a useless thing!

It was shapely once, when the shipwright's hand 

Had laid each plank as the master planned;

And it danced for joy on the curling wave, 

When first the sea's broad breast it clave;

And it felt the pulse of the well-timed stroke, 

That rang on the hole-pin of tuneful oak.

Oft has it carried home the spoil 

Of fishers, tired with nightlong toll;

And often, in summer days, it knew 

The laugh of a pleasure-seeking crew;

Or launched by night on the blinding waves, 

It has rescued a life from the sea's dark caves.

It is useless now, as it lies on the beach, 

Drawn high beyond the billow's reach;

And none of all it has served in stress 

Remember it now in its loneliness