the annual poem


Lantern Swinger
twas the night before christmas, he lived in a crowd.
in a 60 man berthing with oppo's so loud.
i had come down the fin with presents to give,
and to see just who in this boat did live.
i looked all about, a strange sight did i see.
no tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.
no stockings were hung, just no8's close at hand,
on the bulkhead hung pictures of a far distant land.
a sobering thought came into my mind, for this place was different,
it was so dark and dreary.
i had found the home of a submariner, once i could see clearly.
the sailor lay sleeping, silent and alone.
curled up in his bunk, dreaming of home.
i realised the families that i've seen this night,
owed their freedom to these sailors who were willing to fight.
soon round the world the children would play,
and grown up's would celebrate a new christmas day.
they all enjoyed freedom each month of the year.
because of the sailors like the one lying here.
i could'nt help wonder how many lay alone,
on a cold christmas eve on a sea far from home.
the very thought brought a tear to my eye,
i dropped to my knees and started to cry,
the sailor awoke and iheard a rough voice,
santa don't cry for this is my choice.
the sailor rolled over and drifted to sleep,
i could'nt control it i continued to weep.
i kept watch for hours so silent so still,
and we both shivered in the cold nights chill,
i did'nt want to leave on that cold dark night,
this guardian of honour, so willing to fight.
then the sailor rolled over, and with a voice soft and pure
whispered " carry on santa its christmas day all is secure ".

as you can probably guess this was done with d & e boats in mind.
but to all jacks where ever you are on patrol, or at home .

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