Stowaway I crossed the gangway in the winter's raining, Late in the night, when it was dreary dark; The only sounds the rain's hiss, and the complaining Of mooring hawsers holding that lean barque. She sailed before the dawn, the evening found me A sea-sick nipper hidden in spare sails. I feared they'd drag me out and maybe drown me, â€“ The barque was trembling, dipping both her rails. Soon I crept forth. Her long, lee rail was sweeping. A homing ship drove by with hurrying feet, A school of porpoises all 'round her leaping, While stars dipped low, her dizzied spars to greet. "Three cheers!" they cried, and I could hear their voices, And the sharp beating of her clanged iron bells; Her music faded, merged in the sea noises, And she was gone, loud cheering down the swells. And in me then a something seemed to waken, And I was 'mazed. It was as though the sea, Or the big topsails by the night-wind shaken, Had cast a sort of magic over me. The mast-heads reeled. In the bright north the Dipper Hung dazzling diamonds 'round her sails, ghost white. The seas were dim, and the deep-breathing clipper Quivered her feet, and shook with sheer delight. It's long ago, my first night on the sea, And I've grown old, and sailing days are sped. And I am waiting, waiting patiently, Till other topsails gleam above my head. There'll be a wharf, I know, where I am going, There'll be a gangway for the likes o' me; There'll be some lofty packet seaward going, â€“ They'll be fine ships on that eternal sea!