If all the ships I have at sea
Should come a-sailing home to me,
From sunny lands, and lands of cold,
Ah well! the harbor could not hold
So many sails as there would be
If all my ships came in from sea.

If half my ships came home from sea,
And brought their precious freight to me,
Ah, well! I should have wealth as great
As any king who sits in state,
So rich the treasures that would be
In half my ships now at sea.

If just one ship I have at sea
Should come a-sailing home to me,
Ah well! the storm clouds then might frown,
For if the others all went down
Still rich and proud and glad I’d be,
If that one ship came back to me.

If that one ship were down at sea,
And all the others came to me,
Weighed down with gems and wealth untold,
With glory, honor, riches, gold,
The poorest soul on earth I’d be
If that one ship came not to me.

O skies be calm! O winds blow free–
Blow all my ships safe home to me.
But if thou sendest some awrack
To never more come sailing back,
Send any–all that skim the sea–
But bring my love-ship home to me.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Ella Wheeler Wilcox's poem My Ships

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