Make the Tempest Serve  (1896) 
by William James Roe

March 1896

Two crafts went out across the bar
    From land-locked bay to ocean brine,
Both steering for one port afar,—
    One craft my friend's, and one was mine.

The sun-breeze smiled, the night-wind laughed ;
    The white-flocked sky, the foam-decked sea
Beckoned and welcomed sail and craft,
    Beckoned and welcomed friend and me.

So side by side we sailed and sailed,
    Fair wind behind, fair port before,
Till port forgot and wind that failed
    Left both adrift twixt shore and shore.

A sea that steamed, a sky that scowled,
    A sullen silence calm as death,
Then o'er the changing ocean howled
    Full in our face the wild wind's breath.

Then brave I held the tiller straight,
    I fronted storm and foam of sea ;
I called, O friend, we’ll wait, we’ll wait,
    The port will come to you and me.

But far across the wid'ning way
    Between the craft of friend and mine
I heard his cheery trumpet say,
    And saw his starry pennon shine.

His helm he held not straight as I,
    Not towards the port his course was cast ;
Coward! I cried, to fail and fly,
    Nor seek the port, nor face the blast.

Next morn, for mornings come howe'er
    The dark may brood or gales may blow,
Far towards the port I saw appear
    The craft of him who left me so.

What devil’s work, I sneered, is this
    That thus requites my steadfast grip,
That he should gain what I must miss,
    That his should be the nobler ship?

But now upon the stagnant sea,—
    Despite the helm that never swerved,—
Clear comes the clarion call to me :
    I took the tempest when it served.

Blow north or south, blow east or west,—
    No matter how God's winds may blow,—
The port comes not to them who rest ;
    They find the port who bravely go.