Their yellow hulls against the dun waves' breast,
Lone and neglected, empty decks unkept,
Bereft of life that glorified their past.
The yellow river laps their rust-red sides;
The current begs them: "Anchors up-be off!"
The long years pass-no tinkle of a bell
Gives signal to depart to other strands.
No more upon a sea of celadon
They sail with thrilling, throbbing pulse of pride:
These transports bore the hopes of chivalry,
And proudly brought the conquering heroes home.
For these are ships of war-neglected now;
Denied the ocean waves, they court decay,
While ghostly crews walk the deserted decks,
Wondering at stillness, harmony, and peace.
Contemporary Kansas Poetry
Helen Rhoda Hoopes
(Kansas City: Joseph D. Havens Company. 1927)