Soul Ferry [poem by Marie E. J. Pitt]

[Editor: This poem by Marie E. J. Pitt was published in The Horses of the Hills and Other Verses (1911).]

Soul Ferry.

There’s a mist upon the river
Where it runs by Peopletown —
(O the ferry by the river — O the swiftly-running sands!)
O the ghostly winds a-shiver
Where the life-lights flicker down
And the strangers take the ferry where the stream is ribbed and brown,
In the boats not made with hands.

There’s a boat beside the ferry,
And a silent boatman steers —
(O the lilt of lipping water as he dips his muffled oar!)
For they drown beside the ferry,
Where the ribbed brown current veers —
And an eerie chant comes floating — floating back to mortal ears
On the winds of Evermore.

And never day rolls westward,
And never night comes east —
(O the rustle of their garments, and the wan wind sobbing low!)
But riotward or restward,
From the fast or to the feast
They must journey by Soul Ferry — Yea, the greatest and the least —
Where the ribbed brown waters flow.

Still they dream beside the ferry
Where the silent boatman waits —
(O the whisp’ring of the waters, where the soul-ships settle down!)
Ay, they dream beside Soul Ferry
With its motley, mystic freights,
Creeping outward, creeping inward by the veiled and silent gates —
By the gates of Peopletown.

Marie E. J. Pitt, The Horses of the Hills and Other Verses, Melbourne: Specialty Press, 1911, pages 100-101

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