HAIL! messenger of Heaven, bright wanderer, hail!
Thy speed, methinks, betokens thou dost bring
Tidings of import vast from Heaven’s Great King:
For on the wind’s fleet pinions thou dost sail
Along the blue sky, while thy fiery tail
Sweeping the stars, fills mankind here below
With fearful presage of approaching woe,
And makes the boldest, as they gaze, turn pale!
Bright star, I know not what thy speed portends,
Or whither thou dost urge thy swift career;
But this I know; for wise and holy ends,
The mighty God that made thee bids thee steer
Thy course where’er thou goest. Thy shining train,
Far as its blaze extends, proclaims the Almighty’s reign.
On board the Medway, at sea.
© John Dunmore Lang