Bill Adams Poems >>
Man In The Sea
If ever you've heard it ringing, wild from the mast and clear,
If you've seen the watches running, their faces blanched with fear,
If you've heard the splash in the water, and the rush as the boat swings free,
Then you know the bit o' the feeling when a shipmate goes at sea.
And if you haven't heard it, if your way lies by the shore,
Far from the ways of sailormen, you'd best not shrink no more
When the night wind shakes your chimney and your window-pane
Rattles o' windy midnights to the beat o' the winter rain.
There's an empty bunk in the fo'c'sle; we've divvied up his duds;
Somewhere far astern of her, in the greeny white suds,
He's swinging to the rollers, swaying to and fro,
With the birds up above him and the fish down below.
Jimmie took his 'baccy, Joe his oilskin coat,
Neddie took the muffler that warmed his merry throat;
'Twas me that drew his sea-boots; my feet were warm and dry,
Would I had frozen, barefoot, with him yet smiling by.
For she's warping into moorings, and the voyage is past;
We've cut the cards and shuffled them; the lot is cast;
I've got to tell his woman . to tell his woman . me!
The fish . and the birds . and her man in the sea!
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Based on Topics: Night Poems, Fear Poems, Birds Poems, Past Poems, Water Poems, Winter Poems, Running Poems, Emotions Poems
Based on Keywords: moorings, suds, sailormen, astern, midnights, sle, duds, shipmate, warping, baccy, greeny