Thomas Moore

May 28, 1780 - Feb 26, 1852


The Flying Dutchman

by Thomas Moore

Written on passing Dead-Man's Island

See you, beneath yon cloud so dark,
Fast gliding along, a gloomy bark?
Her sails are full, though the wind is still,
And there blows not a breath her sails to fill!

Oh! what doth that vessel of darkness bear?
The silent calm of the grave is there,
Save now and again a death-knell rung,
And the flap of the sails, with night-fog hung!

There lieth a wreck on the dismal shore
Of cold and pitiless Labrador;
Where, under the moon, upon mounts of frost,
Full many a mariner's bones are tost!

Yon shadowy bark hath been to that wreck,
And the dim blue fire that lights her deck
Doth play on as pale and livid a crew
As ever yet drank the churchyard dew!

To Dead-Man's Isle, in the eye of the blast,
To Dead-Man's Isle, she speeds her fast;
By skeleton shapes her sails are furl'd,
And the hand that steers is not of this world!

Oh! hurry thee on - oh! hurry thee on,
Thou terrible bark! ere the night be gone,
Nor let morning look on so foul a sight
As would blanch for ever her rosy light!

Notes to the poem:

Dead-man's Island is one of the Magdalen Islands in the Gulf Of St. Lawrence, and, singularly enough, is the property of Sir Isaac Coffin. The above lines were suggested by a superstition very common among sailors, who called this ghost ship, I think, The Flying Dutchman.


The Poetical Works of Thomas Moore.
Copyright undated, very old
The Walter Scott Publishing Co. Ltd.