Friday, 25 May 2018

Dead Poets Society #78 Philip Larkin: The North Ship

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The North Ship by Philip Larkin

I saw three ships go sailing by, 
Over the sea, the lifting sea, 
And the wind rose in the morning sky, 
And one was rigged for a long journey. 

The first ship turned towards the west, 
Over the sea, the running sea, 
And by the wind was all possessed 
And carried to a rich country. 

The second ship turned towards the east, 
Over the sea, the quaking sea, 
And the wind hunted it like a beast 
To anchor in captivity. 

The third ship drove towards the north, 
Over the sea, the darkening sea, 
But no breath of wind came forth, 
And the decks shone frostily.

The northern sky rose high and black 
Over the proud unfruitful sea, 
East and west the ships came back 
Happily or unhappily: 

But the third went wide and far 
Into an unforgiving sea 
Under a fire-spilling star, 
And it was rigged for a long journey. 

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