Archive for March 10th, 2013

Sunday, 10 March 2013

The Signal by Walter Mitchell

White clouds on the dim horizon!
Blue mists on the shoreward side!
Close reefed the pilot schooner
Rocks on the billows wide.

One is the fog of ocean
That is wandering free and far;
One is the homestead headland,
Fixed as the compass star.

His deck the pilot paces,
And his glass from time to time
Sweeps o’er the flashing white-caps,
As he mutters an ancient rhyme.

He waits for a well-known signal,
“White wings on a ground of blue;”
‘Tis the flag of the good ship “Seabird,”
And his first-born heads her crew.

He looks to the fading headland,
And he thinks of the bonny bride,
Who weeps for her sailor husband—
Weeps by his own fire side.

A spar from the ocean drifting
Catches the pilot’s view,
Twined with a tattered signal,
“White wings on a ground of blue.”

From: Mitchell, Walter, Poems, Stamford Advocate Printing: Stamford, Connecticut, 1860, pp. 28-29.

Date: 1860

By: Walter Mitchell (1826-1908)