Wednesday, March 1, 2017


The north-cast wind has come from Norroway, 
Roaring he came above the white waves' tips! 
The foam of the loud sea was on his lips, 
And all his hair was salt with falling spray. 
Over the keen light of northern day 
He cast his snow cloud's terrible eclipse; 
Beyond our banks he suddenly struck the ships, 
And left them labouring on his landward way. 

The certain course that to my strength belongs 
Drives him with gathering purpose and control 
Until across Vendean flats he sees 
Ocean, the eldest of his enemies. 
Then wheels he for him, glorying in goal 
And gives him challenge, bellowing battle songs. 

~Hilaire Belloc

Sailing Vessels in a Strong Wind, by Hendrick Maertensz Sorgh.
Oil on canvas, 1660; The Hermitage, St. Petersburg (Russia).

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