The Ship-Builders

John Greenleaf Whittier

"The Ship-Builders" (karaoke)

"The Ship-Builders" (sheet music)

Hark! roars the bellows, blast on blast,

The sooty smithy jars,

And fire-sparks, rising far and fast,

Are fading with the stars.

All day for us the smith shall stand

Beside that flashing forge;

All day for us his heavy hand

The groaning anvil scourge.


From far-off hills, the panting team

For us is toiling near;

For us the raftsmen down the stream

Their island barges steer.

Rings out for us the axe-man's strokes

In forests old and still,

For us the century-circled oak

Falls crashing down his hill.


Where'er the keel of our good ship

The sea's rough field shall plough,

Where'er her tossing spars shall drip

With salt-spray caught below,

That ship must heed her master's beck,

Her helm obey his hand,

And seamen tread her reeling deck

As if they trod the land.


Be hers the Prairie's golden grain,

The Desert's golden sand,

The clustered fruits of sunny Spain,

The spice of Morning-land!

Her pathway on the open main

May blessings follow free,

And glad hearts welcome back again

Her white sails from the sea!