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Poems About Travel

Table of Contents

  1. Travel by Robert Louis Stevenson
  2. The Ship is Ready by Hannah Flagg Gould
  3. Two Worlds by Emily Dickinson
  4. The Wayside Inn by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  5. The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


A rolling stone gathers no moss.

– Ancient Proverb
  1. Travel

    by Robert Louis Stevenson

    I should like to rise and go
    Where the golden apples grow;—
    Where below another sky
    Parrot islands anchored lie,
    And, watched by cockatoos and goats,
    Lonely Crusoes building boats;—
    Where in sunshine reaching out
    Eastern cities, miles about,
    Are with mosque and minaret
    Among sandy gardens set,
    And the rich goods from near and far
    Hang for sale in the bazaar;—
    Where the Great Wall round China goes,
    And on one side the desert blows,
    And with bell and voice and drum,
    Cities on the other hum;—
    Where are forests, hot as fire,
    Wide as England, tall as a spire,
    Full of apes and cocoa-nuts
    And the negro hunters' huts;—
    Where the knotty crocodile
    Lies and blinks in the Nile,
    And the red flamingo flies
    Hunting fish before his eyes;—
    Where in jungles, near and far,
    Man-devouring tigers are,
    Lying close and giving ear
    Lest the hunt be drawing near,

    Or a comer-by be seen
    Swinging in a palanquin;—
    Where among the desert sands
    Some deserted city stands,
    All its children, sweep and prince,
    Grown to manhood ages since,
    Not a foot in street or house,
    Not a stir of child or mouse,
    And when kindly falls the night,
    In all the town no spark of light.
    There I'll come when I'm a man
    With a camel caravan;
    Light a fire in the gloom
    Of some dusty dining-room;
    See the pictures on the walls,
    Heroes, fights, and festivals;
    And in a corner find the toys
    Of the old Egyptian boys.

  2. The Ship is Ready

    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    Fare thee well! the ship is ready,
    And the breeze is fresh and steady.
    Hands are fast the anchor weighing;
    High in the air the streamer's playing.
    Spread the sails—the waves are swelling
    Proudly round thy buoyant dwelling,
    Fare thee well! and when at sea,
    Think of those, who sigh for thee.

    When from land and home receding,
    And from hearts, that ache to bleeding,
    Think of those behind, who love thee,
    While the sun is bright above thee!
    Then, as down to ocean glancing,
    With the waves his rays are dancing,
    Think how long the night will be
    To the eyes, that weep for thee.

    When the lonely night-watch keeping,
    All below thee still and sleeping—
    As the needle points the quarter
    O'er the wide and trackless water,
    Let thy vigils ever find thee
    Mindful of the friends behind thee!
    Let thy bosom's magnet be
    Turned to those, who wake for thee!

    When, with slow and gentle motion,
    Heaves the bosom of the ocean—
    While in peace thy bark is riding,
    And the silver moon is gliding
    O'er the sky with tranquil splendor,
    Where the shining hosts attend her;
    Let the brightest visions be
    Country, home and friends, to thee!

    When the tempest hovers o'er thee,
    Danger, wreck and death before thee,
    While the sword of fire is gleaming,
    Wild the winds, the torrent streaming,
    Then, a pious suppliant bending,
    Let thy thoughts to heaven ascending
    Reach the mercy-seat, to be
    Met by prayers that rise for thee!

  3. Two Worlds

    by Emily Dickinson

    It makes no difference abroad,
    The seasons fit the same,
    The mornings blossom into noons,
    And split their pods of flame.

    Wild-flowers kindle in the woods,
    The brooks brag all the day;
    No blackbird bates his jargoning
    For passing Calvary.

    Auto-da-fe and judgment
    Are nothing to the bee;
    His separation from his rose
    To him seems misery.

  4. The Wayside Inn

    by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

    From "Prelude"

    One Autumn night, in Sudbury town,
    Across the meadows bare and brown,
    The windows of the wayside inn
    Gleamed red with fire-light through the leaves
    Of woodbine, hanging from the eaves
    Their crimson curtains rent and thin.

    As ancient is this hostelry
    As any in the land may be,
    Built in the old Colonial day,
    When men lived in a grander way,
    With ampler hospitality;
    A kind of old Hobgoblin Hall,
    Now somewhat fallen to decay,
    With weather-stains upon the wall,
    And stairways worn, and crazy doors,
    And creaking and uneven floors,
    And chimneys huge, and tiled and tall.

    A region of repose it seems,
    A place of slumber and of dreams,
    Remote among the wooded hills!
    For there no noisy railway speeds,
    Its torch-race scattering smoke and gleeds;
    But noon and night, the panting teams
    Stop under the great oaks, that throw
    Tangles of light and shade below,
    On roofs and doors and window-sills.
    Across the road the barns display
    Their lines of stalls, their mows of hay,
    Through the wide doors the breezes blow,
    The wattled cocks strut to and fro,
    And, half effaced by rain and shine,
    The Red Horse prances on the sign.

  5. The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls

    by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

    The tide rises, the tide falls,
    The twilight darkens, the curlew calls;
    Along the sea-sands damp and brown
    The traveler hastens toward the town,
    And the tide rises, the tide falls.

    Darkness settles on roofs and walls,
    But the sea, the sea in the darkness calls;
    The little waves, with their soft, white hands,
    Efface the footprints in the sands,
    And the tide rises, the tide falls.

    The morning breaks; the steeds in their stalls
    Stamp and neigh, as the hostler calls;
    The day returns, but nevermore
    Returns the traveler to the shore,
    And the tide rises, the tide falls.