The Stowaway

Discussion in 'Diamond Lil's' started by The_Jimmy, Oct 13, 2008.

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  1. 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, –
    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, –
    They'll be fine ships on that eternal sea!

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