A dock darkly reflected in motionless waters,
The bustle on board ship,
Oh, the roving, restless soul of all boarding passengers,
The symbolic milling crowds among whom nothing abides,
And among whom, when the ship returns to port,
Some change has always ocurred on board!
Oh, the continual drunken Diversity of flights and departures!
Eternal soul of navigators and their navigations!
Hulls slowly flashing in water
As the ship takes off from port!
To float like the very core of life, to break like a voice,
To live the moment tremulously on eternal waters,
To wake up to days more immediate than any in Europe,
To see mysterious ports on the wide wastes of ocean,
To round distant capes and come across sudden vast landscapes
Past countless stunning hillsides . . .
Ah, the remote beaches, the docks glimpsed from far away,
Then the beaches looming up, the docks seen from close up.
The mystery of every departure and every arrival,
The sad instability, the incomprehensibility
Of this impossible universe
Felt in the skin more intensely at every seafaring moment.
The absurd gulping sobs our souls pour out
Over the expanses of various seas with isles in the distance,
Over far-off island coasts left behind as we pass,
Over ports grown clearer with houses and people
As the ship approaches.