The Great War

from Great Poems of the World War, an electronic edition

Ships That Sail in the Night

"Not a light visible. Not a man above the deck."-From a correspondent's description.

HAIL and farewell,

Ships that pass to the sea!

Hail and a long farewell,

Soldiers of destiny!

Not with rolling of drums,

Not with music and songs,

Not with laughter and weeping,

Or cheering of passionate throngs;

But silently, as is fitting,

Gray ghosts passing from sight;

Great ships like sea-gulls flitting

Against the curtain of night.