27 February 2014

The Ship

I am standing on a seashore. 

A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the evening breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength. 

I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and the night sky come to mingle with each other.

Then someone at my side says, "There, she is gone." 

But gone where? Gone only from my sight. 

She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side, and she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port. 

Her diminished size is in me, not in her.

And just at that moment, when someone at my side says, "There, she is gone!" there are other voices, on another shore, ready to take up the glad shout: "Here she comes!"

And that is life, and that is dying.

—Henry Jackson Van Dyke

"A Barque" by Konstantinos Volanakis 19th c.

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