Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ARS GUBERNANDI, by CHARLES WILLIAM BRODRIBB



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ARS GUBERNANDI, by            
First Line: Thy subtlest gift is steersmanship, o sea!
Last Line: Skills not that day when rigid moorings break.
Subject(s): English Channel; Great Britain - Politics & Government; Sailing & Sailors; Seamen; Sails


Thy subtlest gift is steersmanship, O Sea!—
Of vessels and of states the government.
The Greek who first upon thy waters went
Would ponder at the helm on polity;
And Englishmen, their lesson learnt of thee,
In wind and wave and tide grown confident,
Have ridden wastes of ocean turbulent,
Not as strapped galleyslaves, but as men free.
To visionary Jews thou wert "no more!"
The Roman prized thee only as a lake,
Teuton and Slav, so large on land, no lore
Is theirs of arts that the true pilot make.
Never to have held the tiller or left the shore,
Skills not that day when rigid moorings break.





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