The Stone Fleet by Herman Melville
I HAVE a feeling for those ships
Each worn and ancient one
With great bluff bowsand broad in the beam;
Ayit was unkindly done.
But so they serve the Obsolete
Even soStone Fleet!
You'll say I'm doting; do but think
I scudded round the Horn in one
The Tenedosa glorious
Good old craft as ever run
Sunk (how all unmeet!)
With the Old Stone Fleet.
An India ship of fame was she
Spices and shawls and fans she bore;
A whaler when her wrinkles came
Turned off! tillspent and poor
Her bones were sold (escheat!)
Ah! Stone Fleet.
Four were erst patrician keels
(Names attest what families be)
The Kensingtonand Richmond too
But now they have their seat
With the Old Stone Fleet
To scuttle them- a pirate deed
Sack themand dismast;
They sunk so slowthey died so hard
But gurgling dropped at last.
Their ghosts in gales repeat
Woe's usStone Fleet!
And all for naught. The waters pass
Currents will have their way;
Nature is nobody's ally; 'tis well;
The harbor is bettered- will stay.
A failureand complete
Was your Old Stone Fleet. December1861.