Oh glorious day the Bellus sailed -
Took flight with full-spread canvas wings!
Our happy eyes beheld the land
Slip fast behind the sky and sea;
No comet flew, no prophet called,
The sea was shimmering in the light
The day we cast our mooring off
And set our faces toward the night.
A west wind1 took us swiftly out
And drove us thus for many days
And howled 'twixt sail and mast and line
Through wave and mighty, dark-green wave.
Each sailor raised his cider-mug
And climbed into his birth, content
That we should soon have crossed the sea
And reached that place where we were bent.
The captain, too, was in good state
As were the second mate and I,
And had not thought to see the hour
That long-blown western wind would die.
So we, becalmed upon that sea,
Gazed doubtful at the molten glass;
The wind had always blown for us -
This calm spell, then, would quickly pass.
"Oh sun, why mock us with thy rays!
Why, sky, withhold thy rain, thy breeze?"
The bos'n spoke when we had sat
Five weeks unmoved upon that sea.
At this each sailor bowed his head
Or cast his angry face away,
No man would meet me eye for eye
Or speak upon that silent day.
And silence passed from night to night
Until each man would only lift
His face to see the feeble waves
Upon which we were cast adrift.