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Anna Jane Vardill

The Boat of the Stars

Mount St. Michael, in Normandy, is surrounded by a quicksand, and bears upon its summit an abbey within a fortress, which is still a secret state-prison.

Why ask the stars for their boat of light,
 As eastern sages tell?—
We have each a boat of hue as bright,
’Twill compass the world in one summer night,
 And reach the stars as well.

All the treasures that Thought can bring
 It sails through the clouds to find;
’Tis swifter than Time on his swiftest wing,
For Care the courtier of Death the king
 It leaves upon earth behind.

Its helm is lit with a meteor’s gleam,
 Its sail is a gossamer spun
From the downy pillow of Life’s first dream,
Or films that float upon Fancy’s stream,
 Or threads from her cobweb won.

Then the boat will pass over this world’s bars
 To traverse a brighter sphere
In the glowing heaven of immortal Mars,
Or among the suns that look like stars
 Unearthly Venus near.

But best through the world of light it steers
 Where the placid moon reposes;
For her pure and bright clime sheds no tears,[1]
But a sweet invisible dew that cheers,
 As memory feeds life’s roses.

Oh! when the pilot-soul is true,
 Let the boat of Hope go free
Sweet Ida—’twill sail to regions new,
And search the worlds of Fancy through,
 But return again for thee.


  1. The moon’s atmosphere is said to yield no rain. 

The European Magazine, Vol. 81, February 1822, p. 112