Dorothea Mackellar

The Santa Maria

Three green miles beneath the sea
Lies the spoil we could not hold,
Lies the galleon with her gold.
Fish brush by her weed-hung side;
Never wave can shake her, she
Has gone through them far too deep,
And her crew may rest asleep
In the places where they died.

There each man unheeding lies
As he was the night she sank;
Even the cups from which they drank,
Even the dice which they had cast
—For we took them by surprise—
Lie beside their long white bones;
Flagons set with precious stones
Count for little at the last.

When she sank there in our sight
With a little lapping sound,
Slight as if a skiff had drowned,
Staggering we turned to go,
For our ship had felt the fight;
Out to sunset showed our wake,
Writhing like a wounded snake,
Till we came to Samballo….

Shapeless sea-beasts coil and creep
On her rotting cedar deck,
Past her crew who little reck
Of the trespass, if they know.
Mary, give them happy sleep!
Surely there beneath the wave
They have found as green a grave
As the sun-warmed earth can show.