Daily Email

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Poem: "The Captain's Daughter" by James T. Fields

As I post this poem, I do so with the remembrance that 400 years ago, the Separatists (Pilgrims) departed England for the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. Intending to arrive in the Hudson River in New York, they first landed at Provincetown, but as they ventured on, Plymouth seemed to be a more suitable destination to build their colony.

The perilous trip began from Plymouth, England on September 6th and they reached Cape Cod on November 9th (or 11th). On Christmas Day in 1620, the Pilgrims decided on building their settlement in Plymouth. 

This poem of the Captain's Daughter reveals the despair that can set in during perilous journeys and the voice of hope that comes from surprising places.

We were crowded in the cabin,
Not a soul would dare to sleep –
It was midnight on the waters,
And a storm was on the deep.

‘Tis a fearful thing in winter
To be shattered by the blast,
And to hear the rattling trumpet
Thunder, “Cut away the mast.”

So we shuddered there in silence –
For the stoutest held his breath,
While the hungry sea was roaring
And the breakers talked with Death.

And thus we sat in darkness,
Each one busy with his prayers,
“We are lost!” the captain shouted
As he staggered down the stairs.

But his little daughter whispered,
As she took his icy hand,
“Isn’t God upon the ocean,
Just the same as on the land?”

Then we kissed the little maiden
And we spoke in better cheer,
And we anchored safe in harbor
When the morn was shining clear.

No comments:

Post a Comment