The boat that never sailed; by Alban Wall


Down in the harbour of Broken Dreams

On the shores of Yesterday,

Her hull half-buried by sands of Time,

A schooner lies rotting away;

And her broken beams are the broken hopes

Of plans that have somehow failed –

And the tide drifts in and the tide drifts out

Past a boat that has never sailed.


Her timbers were made of the finest wood

From the forests of Caribee;

Her sails were like wings of the albatross

That glide o’er the southern sea;

And her decks how they echoed her builder’s song

As he fashioned her, plank and nail –

Now only the seagull’s lonesome cry

Haunts the boat that has never set sail.


She never answered the siren call

Of coaxing wind and tide;

She never breasted the Spanish Main

With the seas coming over her side;

And the pennant that hangs from her broken mast

Never shook in the lashing gale –

For the tides of Destiny waxed too full

And the schooner never set sail.


Somewhere there are men with snow-white hair

Who sit in life’s twilight years,

And often their thoughts drift wistfully back,

And often their eyes fill with tears

As they think of the dreams that have gone astray

And the plans that have somehow failed –

God, heal the hearts of the men who have built

The boats that have never sailed.

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