phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Home | Search the website Search | Discussion Forum Home|

Crossing the bar

Posted by ESC on November 26, 2003

In Reply to: Naval saying posted by jay will on November 25, 2003

: where did saying crossed the bar originate

I've looked at several references including two specifically on sayings with origins in seafaring. No luck yet. The Tennyson poem doesn't explain what it means:

Crossing the Bar
Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,
But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;
For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.