Old Ships

David Morton

There is a memory stays upon old ships,
 A weightless cargo in the musty hold, —
Of bright lagoons and prow-caressing lips,
 Of stormy midnights, — and a tale untold.
They have remembered islands in the dawn,
 And windy capes that tried their slender spars,
And tortuous channels where their keels have gone,
 And calm blue nights of stillness and the stars.
Ah, never think that ships forget a shore,
 Or bitter seas, or winds that made them wise;
There is a dream upon them, evermore; —
 And there be some who say that sunk ships rise
To seek familiar harbors in the night,
 Blowing in mists, their spectral sails like light.