The Empty Boats

Poem By Vachel Lindsay

Why do I see these empty boats, sailing on airy seas?
One haunted me the whole night long, swaying with every breeze,
Returning always near the eaves, or by the skylight glass:
There it will wait me many weeks, and then, at last, will pass.
Each soul is haunted by a ship in which that soul might ride
And climb the glorious mysteries of Heaven's silent tide
In voyages that change the very metes and bounds of Fate —
O empty boats, we all refuse, that by our windows wait!

Comments about The Empty Boats

One of my favorite poems. Vachel Lindsay was so underrated and the fact that he loved Sara Teasdale just makes him all the more magnificent.


Rating Card

2,8 out of 5
33 total ratings

Other poems of LINDSAY

Above The Battle's Front

St. Francis, Buddha, Tolstoi, and St. John —
Friends, if you four, as pilgrims, hand in hand,
Returned, the hate of earth once more to dare,
And walked upon the water and the land,

Darling Daughter Of Babylon

Too soon you wearied of our tears.
And then you danced with spangled feet,
Leading Belshazzar's chattering court
A-tinkling through the shadowy street.

Abraham Lincoln Walks At Midnight

It is portentous, and a thing of state
That here at midnight, in our little town
A mourning figure walks, and will not rest,
Near the old court-house pacing up and down.

Alone In The Wind, On The Prairie

I know a seraph who has golden eyes,
And hair of gold, and body like the snow.
Here in the wind I dream her unbound hair
Is blowing round me, that desire's sweet glow

A Dirge For A Righteous Kitten

To be intoned, all but the two italicized lines, which are to be spoken in a snappy, matter-of-fact way.


Ding-dong, ding-dong, ding-dong.