Friday, November 11, 2016

NANSEN, a poem

TO drift with thee, not strive against thy tide,
     All-powerful Nature! to pursue thy law,
     Attentive,—with devout and childlike awe
Hearkening unto thy voice, and none beside:
To drift with thee! With thee for friend and guide
     In fragile bark, careless of cold or thaw,
     To brave the ice-pack and the dread sea-maw!—
So are man's conquests won, so glorified.

The truest compass is the seeing soul.
     Oh, wond'ring Earth! did not thy spirit glow,
          Calling to mind the deathless Genoese,
As Nansen, pilot of the frozen Pole,
     Like a young Viking rode the icy floe,
          Wresting their secret from the Arctic Seas?
"Nansen" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in Harper's New Monthly Magazine (November 1897), Poems (1898) and Poems (1916) Volume II.

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