An open boat upon an open sea;
The sky, a canopy of million stars o’erhead;
The only occupant a broken human, he
Wishing that he were dead.
A barely noticed ripple carries him
Far from the shore and sleeping ones on land;
Low-lying in the feeble starlight glim
There laps the water on each hand.
The sky is gray, the stars grow pale,
The earth is turning to the day;
There lies the boat, drifting without a sail
Towards where rocks and sea do play.
The sky is red, the stars have all gone out,
Upon the sea there floods a golden light;
Awakened as if by a mighty shout
He sees the conquest of the night.
The horrors of the dark, the numb despair,
The misery of the night have taken wing;
Gone from his mind the load of heavy care,
His heart could swell and sing.
He sees his peril and with savage haste
He lifts the oars and turns his craft away;
He knows there is no moment he can waste;
This is for him a special day.
He bends his back and makes the oars sweep,
Forgetting now his weariness and pain;
Where now the earliest workers wake from sleep
He means to take his place again.
Despair can cloud the mind as night the sky,
When all things seem to wait only for death:
But a new day can give the reason why
We rise and take a deeper breath.