On the shores of Yesterday,
Her hull half-buried by sands of Time,
A schooner lies rotting away;
And her broken beams are the broken hopes
Of plans that have somehow failed –
And the tide drifts in and the tide drifts out
Past a boat that has never sailed.
Her timbers were made of the finest wood
From the forests of Caribee;
Her sails were like wings of the albatross
That glide o’er the southern sea;
And her decks how they echoed her builder’s song
As he fashioned her, plank and nail –
Now only the seagull’s lonesome cry
Haunts the boat that has never set sail.
She never answered the siren call
Of coaxing wind and tide;
She never breasted the Spanish Main
With the seas coming over her side;
And the pennant that hangs from her broken mast
Never shook in the lashing gale –
For the tides of Destiny waxed too full
And the schooner never set sail.
Somewhere there are men with snow-white hair
Who sit in life’s twilight years,
And often their thoughts drift wistfully back,
And often their eyes fill with tears
As they think of the dreams that have gone astray
And the plans that have somehow failed –
God, heal the hearts of the men who have built
The boats that have never sailed.
– Alban Wall