Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, OLD SAILORS, by WILLIAM HENRY DAVIES

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OLD SAILORS, by            
First Line: I loved a ship from early boyhood days
Last Line: And a new crew is born for aeons more.
Alternate Author Name(s): Davies, W. H.
Subject(s): Sailing & Sailors; Seamen; Sails

I loved a ship from early boyhood days;
It seemed to me a thing that lived and felt,
To pet and coax, that knew the captain's voice.
I heard the captain shouting to his men,
And, as that voice which calleth home the cows,
Will make the far-off sheep look up and bleat,
So in my heart that captain's voice found ears,
Meant for his men. Oh, what a joy was mine
To see in dock the little boat that sailed
Across the deep Atlantic with one man!
I saw the two old warships made of oak,
That in days gone had spake out fierce and loud
With iron tongues in bodies of hard wood.
I saw the steamship that could go its way
Without consulting any wind or tide;
That ship of steam, and its propeller with
Four mighty arms of iron that could churn
The sea for miles when it lay calm and blue.
I watched the sailors, every move they made;
Those sailors true, whose eyes would grow more bright,
Like glow-worms, when they saw a coming storm.
This world on which we live is but a ship
Without a port on an eternal cruise;
Oft taking fire, it burns its living crew,
Then sailing into a cold void, its hull,
Encased in ice, takes a warm current back,
And a new crew is born for aeons more.

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