Home  »  A Library of American Literature  »  Albatross

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


By Charles Warren Stoddard (1843–1909)

TIME cannot age thy sinews, nor the gale

Batter the network of thy feathered mail,

Lone sentry of the deep!

Among the crashing caverns of the storm,

With wing unfettered, lo! thy frigid form

Is whirled in dreamless sleep!

Where shall thy wing find rest for all its might?

Where shall thy lidless eye, that scours the night,

Grow blank in utter death?

When shall thy thousand years have stripped thee bare,

Invulnerable spirit of the air,

And sealed thy giant-breath?

Not till thy bosom hugs the icy wave—

Not till thy palsied limbs sink in that grave,

Caught by the shrieking blast,

And hurled upon the sea with broad wings locked,

On an eternity of waters rocked,

Defiant to the last!