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The Wreck of Derry Castle

Day of ending for beginnings!
Ocean hath another innings,
   Ocean hath another score;
And the surges sing his winnings,
And the surges shout his winnings,
And the surges shriek his winnings,
   All along the sullen shore.

Sing another dirge in wailing,
For another vessel sailing
   With the shadow-ships at sea;
Shadow-ships for ever sinking —
Shadow-ships whose pumps are clinking,
And whose thirsty holds are drinking
   Pledges to Eternity.

Pray for souls of ghastly, sodden
Corpses, floating round untrodden
   Cliffs, where nought but sea-drift strays;
Souls of dead men, in whose faces
Of humanity no trace is —
Not a mark to show their races —
   Floating round for days and days.

      . . . . .

Ocean's salty tongues are licking
   Round the faces of the drowned,
And a cruel blade seems sticking
   Through my heart and turning round.

Heaven! shall HIS ghastly, sodden
   Corpse float round for days and days?
Shall it dash 'neath cliffs untrodden,
   Rocks where nought but sea-drift strays?

God in heaven! hide the floating,
   Falling, rising, face from me;
God in heaven! stay the gloating,
   Mocking singing of the sea!

This work is in the public domain in Australia because it was created in Australia and the term of copyright has expired.

See Australian Copyright Council - Duration of Copyright (August 2014).


This work is also in the public domain in the United States because it was in the public domain in Australia in 1996, and no copyright was registered in the U.S. (This is the combined effect of Australia having joining the Berne Convention in 1928, and of 17 USC 104A with its critical date of January 1, 1996.)

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1924.


The author died in 1922, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 80 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.