The Sailing Of The Ark
The sky was low, the sounding rain was falling dense
And Noah's sons were standing at the window of
The beasts were in, but Japhet said "I see one
Belated and unmated there comes knocking at the
"Well, let him knock, or let him drown" said Ham,
"or learn to swim;
We're overcrowded as it is. We've got no room for
"And yet it knocks. How terribly it knocks," said
Shem. "Its feet
Are hard as horns. And O, the air from it is sweet."
"Now hush!" said Ham, "You'll waken Dad, and once
he comes to see
What's at the door, it's sure to mean more work
for you and me." Noah's voice came roaring from the darkness down below:
"Some animal is knocking. Let it in before we go."
Ham shouted back (and savagely he nudged the other
"That's only Japhet knocking down a bradnail in
Said Noah, "Boys, I hear a noise that's like a
Said Ham, "Why, that's the dreadful rain that drums
upon the roof."
Noah tumbled up on deck, and out he puts his head.
His face grew white, his knees were loosed, he
tore his beard and said,
"Look, look! It would not wait. It turns away. It
takes its flight
Fine work you've made of it, my sons, between you
O noble and unmated beast, my sons were all unkind.
In such a night, what stable and what manger will
O golden hoofs, O cataracts of mane, O nostrils
With high disdain, and O the neck wave-arched,
the lovely pride!
O long shall be the furrows ploughed upon the hearts
Before it comes to stable and to manger once again.
And dark and crooked all the roads in which our
race will walk,
And Shrivelled all their manhood like a flower
on broken stalk.
Now all the world, O Ham, may curse the hour that
you were born –
Because of you, the Ark must sail without the Unicorn."