“The North Pirate and His Mistress” by Sir Oscar Oliphant
The North Pirate and His Mistress
Sir Oscar Oliphant
From Collected Poems by Sir Oscar Oliphant
Our galley, how madly she darts on her way!
Her bows and her bulwarks are streaming with spray;
Her lofty yards buckle, and bends the tall mast;
O save me, my love, from the strength of the blast!
O save me, my dearest! not such is the breeze,
That scarcely awakens a curl on the seas,
When rich with the perfumes of Araby’s sky,
The noon’s fiery pinions float languidly by.
I love the light breezes that blow from that strand,
They tell of the sweets of my own native land;
But my heart sinks within me, I shrink when comes forth
The keen bitter voice of the boisterous north.
Nay, tremble not, loved one, for steady, though strong,
Is the breeze that I hail, as it bears us along,
Its voice, as it sweeps o’er the moonlight-lit sea,
Is more dear than the gales of Arabia to me.
The air that hangs heavy and landing at noon,
In passionate gusts may awaken too soon;
And the sail that scarce swells to its breathing at morn,
May at eve, by its fury, be shattered and torn.
I love the proud tones of the shadowy north
When it takes o’er the billows its mighty march forth;
I bow to its presence, fit veil for the forms
Of the spirits that dwell in my island of storms.