Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE SAILING LIST, by BERTON BRALEY

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE SAILING LIST, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I was reading my paper, dully enough, when just as it chanced, I found
Last Line: Never, never, never get to go!
Subject(s): Sailing & Sailors; Travel; Seamen; Sails; Journeys; Trips

I was reading my paper, dully enough, when just as it chanced, I found
A list of ships and a list of ports to which the ships were bound,
And it suddenly seemed that a great wind blew from the face of many seas,
And my heart it throbbed with a swifter beat when I read such words as these:

"Steamer Vassa, sailing for Liberia,
Togoland, Dahomey, Kameroon;
Steamer Clavarack sailing for Sarawak;
Singapore, Karachi and Rangoon!"

I could feel the throb of the whirling screws and the "heave of the deep sea
For the sailing list was a magic charm that cast a potent spell,
And I dreamed of slumberous tropic ports where life is sleepy ease,
As my eyes ran down the column filled with items such as these:

"Steamer Granite State sails for Honolulu,
Colombo, Calcutta, Batavia, Penang;
Steamer William Penn sails for Port Swettenham,
Abbadan, Surabaya, Samarang!"

So I read the names of a score of ports I've always, longed to know—
Kobe and Rio and Cristobal, Aden, Rosario,
And I envied the men who were going there over the deep-sea trail
For though I'm thrilled by the sailing list I never will get to sail.

"Steamer Santa Ana sailing for Iquiqui,
Eten, Pisco, Taltal, Callao;
Steamer Glenafric sailing for Ceara,
Para, Bahia, Natal, Maceio."

Steamers by the dozen sailing for the tropics,
Sailing for the Northland, wrapped in snow,
Sailing for the Orient, sailing for New Zealand,
Africa, Australia, Asia, Borneo;
Sailing for Malmo, Capetown, Rotterdam,
Oh, I will read about 'em but I'll never get to go,
Never, never, never get to go!

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