The Great War

from More Songs By the Fighting Men, an electronic edition

Off St. Helena

WHEN I sit silent on the swaying deck.

And drink in the soft splendour of the night.

The pale, proud moon; the sky, all cloud a-fleck;

The silver balls of phosphorescent light

In the white foam; the davits curving black

Against the sky; the tall and stately mast.

Swinging from star to star—though these all lack

Nothing of beauty, perfect, pure, and vast,

'Tis naught to me: save that I may devise

That I do look again into your eyes.