Ships of a Day

By George Sterling

How white the clouds that hurry past
  From some unknown and distant sky!
Soundless and steady, swift and vast,
  The pearly galleons onward fly.

What western harbor waits that fleet,
  What anchorage across the blue?
What guns shall thunder as they meet,
  And captains watch the long review?

There lies no port where they shall rest,
  To whom the wind is helm and hail;
They shall make beautiful the west,
  Ere sunset's royal banners pale.

Then all must founder, ere the dawn
  Follow their trackless path from sea.
Out of the void their keels were drawn;
  Back to the void they melt. And we?

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