The Ship of Dreams

Ship drawing furrows of following foam
Leaning down shoreward out of the sky,
What are the dreams you are carrying home,
What are the dreams that you bring us to buy?
" You may purchase your fill, you may have what you will "
The Great Ship, leaning, made her reply,

" For I bear all cargoes here in my hold
As down the ways of the sky I dance,
Chests of ebony, plates of gold,
The High Adventure, The Great Romance,
The One True Love that you've long dreamed of,
The Single Throw Of The Dice Of Chance;

The Riches you seek and the Fame you've pursued,
The Joy of the Sweet, Vine-Trellised Cot,
And every dream wherewith you've endued
The hopes of Man in his earthly lot,
But in the end, my friend, my friend,
You've got to pay for the Dream you've sought. "

The Ship swept on like a moving cloud
In tier on tier of heavenly white,
Singing with great winds, thunder-bowed,
The joy of the ocean, the waves' delight,
While climbing high in the rocking sky,
Her mariners went up, small, from sight. . . .

Then the people came crowding from field and town
To see the Ship of Their Dreams come in,
Through highway and byway pouring down
They made a noise like a market's din,
The Rich and The Poor, The Gentle and Boor,
The Glad and The Sad, The Fat and The Thin:

For there's never a person but has his dream
Or who has not sent his heart a-far
Where the moving hills of the Ocean gleam
Beyond the reach of the harbour-bar
Whence the day is born, a-new, each morn
Preceded by the morning star. . . .

The traffic of unlading began,
From the holds' last depths the merchandise came;
They crowded closer, woman and man,
Each answering to his echoed name:
And they bore away, the Sad and the Gay,
Their bundles of woe and joy and shame.

The Poet got his fame — and his crust,
The Statesman achieved his empty height,
The Miser clutched his ignoble dust,
The Conqueror's crown, it shone so bright
That his eyes were blind to the storm behind
And the pit that yawned at his feet forthright. . . .

Now rose a wailing that grew and grew,
" Nay, this is not as our hope did seem;
We have gained a thing we never knew! "
Then answered a Voice, " Aye, so ye deem? ...
Yet to each, as he lives, the Captain gives, —
And for the Dream, The Reward Of The Dream! ... "

And yet full many were jocund there,
And, singing, bore their burdens away,
For they knew that the Captain had trafficked fair,
And they had no word of cavil to say —
As away from the rout the Ship drew out
Till it hung, like a star, on the edge of the day.
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