Scarcely below the clouds, far off this strait
The cries of marooned jacks he heard impart
An epistle. His alarm as they wailed,
Sank in the torrid brine and went unheard.
And gulls sailed by without nesting,
The kelson of ruin’s portion returning
A becalmed stanza, languorous token,
The presage woe of moldering timbers.
Then in the whirling hush before the stress,
Its rigging quickened and torpor in suspense,
Sweeping wings there were that gave a caution;
And shameful designs thrown back in the ocean.
Rudder, backstays and crab claws avow
No other lulls. Far on the slate gray main
Polar cells expel the hulk aground.
This ominous relic leaves only a skein.