Early Works of Karl Marx: Book of Verse

The Magic Ship

A Romance

Without sails or lights there flees
     A ship round the world without rest.
The moon shines down on the seas,
And weathered stands the mast.

A sinister Helmsman steers,
No blood flows in his veins,
No light shines from his eyes,
No thought stirs in his brain.

The waves beat, wild and savage;
She strikes a cliff, to founder,
But rides aloft, undamaged,
As swift as she went under.

Till raging sea-flood swells
In blood-bath weltering.
Troubled, the Helmsman quails;
This proves an evil thing.

The Spirits scream vengeful doom
Below and up on high.
The Helmsman's plunged in gloom,
The ship goes shooting by.

To far-off lands she fares,
     Where coasts and bays she sees,
Then flashes in mirror-fire,
Till kissed down by the seas.