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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
  6. Quest by Winifred Webb
  7. Homeward, Ho! by Ada A. Mosher
  8. Autumn Fields by Elizabeth Madox Roberts

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.

  6. Quest

    by Winifred Webb

    Ho all you eager travelers!
    Have you some place to go
    Where you forget the many things
    You wish you did not know?
    Forget your own insistent past
    And feel just fit and free?
    If you have found it, won't you tell
    Its happy name to me?

  7. Homeward, Ho!

    by Ada A. Mosher

    Onward we speed like a swift-speeding arrow
    Winged from a bow!
    Cleaving the winding land line long and narrow
    'Twixt clouds of snow.

    Straight thro' the mountain's heart swiftly we burrow,
    Laughing, the hills
    Hail as we distance them down the long furrow.
    How the race thrills!

    Clouds, spent with following fast, give up their chasing;
    Worsted the wind—
    Baying on heels, panting hard in the racing,
    Now—left behind!

    Flash on! As lightnings are hurled above us
    So be thy flight!
    Swift to the soft clime where loved ones who love us
    Wait us to-night!

    Give chase to distance! Dear hearts!—to be with them
    Is worth the chase!
    Never a music to rival in rhythm
    Thy muffled bass!

    "Nearer and nearer!" Ah, melody-makers,
    Match with your arts
    Music of speed over sea or land breakers
    To home-hungry hearts!

    Match, if ye can, the glad sway of its meter.
    Sadly prosaic
    Your motif, I ween, to the pulse of its fleeter
    Rough old trochaic!

    Homeward, my famished heart, homeward we're going,
    Long since my sad eyes have dimmed with thy flowing,
    Glad tears of joy.

    Homeward! Their loving arras wait to caress me—
    Slack not thy speed—
    Bearing me faithful and fast! Oh, I bless thee,
    Brave iron steed!

  8. Autumn Fields

    by Elizabeth Madox Roberts

    He said his legs were stiff and sore
    For he had gone some twenty-eight miles,
    And he'd walked through by watergaps
    And fences and gates and stiles.

    He said he'd been by Logan's woods,
    And up by Walton's branch and Simms,
    And there were sticktights on his clothes
    And little dusts of seeds and stems.

    And then he sat down on the steps,
    And he said the miles were on his feet.
    For some of that land was tangled brush,
    And some was plowed for wheat.

    The rabbits were thick where he had been,
    And he said he'd found some ripe papaws.
    He'd rested under a white oak tree,
    And for his dinner he ate red haws.

    Then I sat by him on the step
    To see the things that he had seen.
    And I could smell the shocks and clods,
    And the land where he had been.

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