Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Nov. 5, 1850 - Oct. 30, 1919


My Launch And I

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

What glorious times we have had together,
My launch and I, in the summer weather!
My trim little launch, with its sturdy sides
And its strong heart beating away as it glides
Out of the harbour and out of the bay,
Wherever our fancy may lead away,
Rollicking over the salt sea track,
Hurrying seaward and hurrying back.

My boat has never a braggart sail,
To boast in the breeze, in the calm to quail.
No tyrant boom deals a sudden blow,
Saying, You are my lackey, bend low, bend low!
No mast struts over a windless sea
To show how powerless pride may be;
But sure and steady, and true and staunch,
It bounds o'er the billows -- my little launch.

Ready and willing and quick to feel
The slightest touch of my hand on the wheel,
It laughs in the teeth of a driving gale,
Or skims by the Cat boat's drooping sail.
Its head held high when the Sound is still,
Then dipping its prow like a water-bird's bill
Down under the waves of a rolling sea --
Oh, my gay little launch is the boat for me!

Ofttimes when the great Sound seethes and swirls
I carry a cargo of laughing girls.
Bare-armed, bare-limbed, and with hanging hair
They are bold as mermaids and twice as fair.
They swarm from the cabin -- they perch on the prow;
When the tenth wave batters them, breast and brow,
They bloom the brighter, as sea-flowers do,
While their shrill sweet merriment bursts anew.

And oft when the sunset dyes the bay,
O'er a mirror-like surface we glide away,
My launch and I, to follow the breeze
That has jilted the shore for the deeper seas.
When the full moon flirts with the perigee tide,
On a track of silver away we ride --
Oh, glorious times we have together,
My boat and I, in the summer weather.


Poems of Pleasure
Copyright 1900
Gay And Bird, 22 Bedford Street, Strand, London