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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

A Shadow Boat

By Arlo Bates (1850–1918)

[From Berries of the Brier. 1886.]

UNDER my keel another boat

Sails as I sail, floats as I float;

Silent and dim and mystic still,

It steals through that weird nether-world,

Mocking my power, though at my will

The foam before its prow is curled,

Or calm it lies, with canvas furled.

Vainly I peer, and fain would see

What phantom in that boat may be;

Yet half I dread, lest I with ruth

Some ghost of my dead past divine,

Some gracious shape of my lost youth,

Whose deathless eyes once fixed on mine

Would draw me downward through the brine!