ships at sea

by Alfred Gibbs Campbell

Image via JF Ptak Science Books
Image via JF Ptak Science Books

All of us have our ships at sea;
        Will they ever reach port, I wonder.
A few may sail in merrily,
        But most will the wild waves sunder.

And some which do reach port, I guess,
        Will discharge only damaged cargoes;
Better had they been kept by stress
        Of weather, or Fate’s embargoes.

Trust not thy treasures on the sea,
        Nor idly expect joy to-morrow;
Take what to-day doth offer thee,
        Nor pleasure nor trouble borrow.

A businessman involved in paper manufacturing and patent medicines, Alfred Gibbs Campbell used his verse to promote the antislavery and temperance causes to which he was passionately committed. His collection entitled Poems was published in Newark in 1883.