“The Pillars of Hercules” by Alexander Robertson
The Pillars of Hercules
From Last Poems of Alexander Robertson, 1918
Here was the halting-place in ancient days
For timorous craft: yet on this ocean vast
And that horizon which no ship had passed
Full often would men fix a curious gaze:
They could not deem the sunset shone on ought
Save this expanse of water: such a light
Some isles must bless beyond the reach of night
And fairer than the mind of man had thought.
Thus haply or through more than such regret,
As beyond death men trust there may be more
Of joy than life hath bought, so near this shore
They dared not leave, with wistful minds they set
Beyond the guardian terror of these seas
The beauty of the hid Hesperides.
Written while sailing on a troopship to Egypt.