How does the oak stand up so strong,
While leaf and limb and acorn fall?
He stretches down and up and out so long,
Breaking through heavenly and earthly walls;
Yet through him air and water flow,
Wind does bend him and light shapes.
Years will pass and he'll outgrow,
His summer laurels and winter capes,
His greens and goldens, browns and bare.
Beneath brilliant blues and radiant reds,
He wears silver moon and sunshine flare,
All out of doors, all in his bed.
Full sail and fifty on they sped,
Threshing fields of sun-splashed spray,
A harvest red in dawn and blood,
Fixéd they upon yon waterway.
Cold scowls upon men's faces fell,
Cold winds blew behind their sails,
Cold hearts gripped helm, and
Home hearths too were gripped,
Where cold cry wives' and mothers' wails.
Blasted winds propelled their craft,
Blasting guns propelled their steel,
Blast upon blast till most fell at last,
And last of them were brought to heel.
"Give up thy Gold or give up the Ghost!"
Up blood boiled as boiled up the sea,
"Our precious Ore ye shall feel and Full!"
Bloody cries spilling, spilling blood by the lee.
Somewhere sunward soared a lone albatross,
She lingered aloft uncompelled to alight,
Drifting slowly among wispy clouds,
Accompanying spirits long into the night.
A rising wave o'er a sinking ship,
So runs the course of many a corsair,
Ambitious men make for a stormy sea,
Leaving behind many a weeping widow, fair.