The Sailing Of The Ark

The sky was low, the sounding rain was falling dense and dark,
And Noah's sons were standing at the window of the Ark.
The beasts were in, but Japhet said "I see one creature more
Belated and unmated there comes knocking at the door."
"Well, let him knock, or let him drown" said Ham, "or learn to swim;
We're overcrowded as it is. We've got no room for him."

"And yet it knocks. How terribly it knocks," said Shem. "Its feet
Are hard as horns. And O, the air from it is sweet."
"Now hush!" said Ham, "You'll waken Dad, and once he comes to see
What's at the door, it's sure to mean more work for you and me." Noah's voice came roaring from the darkness down below:
"Some animal is knocking. Let it in before we go."

Ham shouted back (and savagely he nudged the other two)
"That's only Japhet knocking down a bradnail in his shoe."
Said Noah, "Boys, I hear a noise that's like a horse's hoof."
Said Ham, "Why, that's the dreadful rain that drums upon the roof."
Noah tumbled up on deck, and out he puts his head.
His face grew white, his knees were loosed, he tore his beard and said,

"Look, look! It would not wait. It turns away. It takes its flight
Fine work you've made of it, my sons, between you all to-night.
O noble and unmated beast, my sons were all unkind.
In such a night, what stable and what manger will you find.
O golden hoofs, O cataracts of mane, O nostrils wide
With high disdain, and O the neck wave-arched, the lovely pride!

O long shall be the furrows ploughed upon the hearts of men
Before it comes to stable and to manger once again.
And dark and crooked all the roads in which our race will walk,
And Shrivelled all their manhood like a flower on broken stalk.
Now all the world, O Ham, may curse the hour that you were born
Because of you, the Ark must sail without the Unicorn."