A SEAMAN’S TALE OF THE SEA
We men hat go down for a livin’ in ships to the sea,-
We love it a different way from you poets that ‘bide on the land.
We are fond of it, sure! But, you take it as comin’ from me,
There’s a fear and a hate in our love that a landsman can’t understand.
Oh, who could help likin’ the salty smell, and the blue
Of the waves that are lazily breathin’ as if they dreamed in the sun?
She’s a Sleepin’ Beauty, the sea,-but you can’t tell what she’ll do;
And the seamen never trust her,-they know too well what she’s done!
She’s a wench like one that I saw in a singin’-play,-
Carmen they called her,-Lord, what a life her lovers did lead!
She’d cuddle and kiss you, and sing you and dance you away;
And then,-she’d curse you, and break you, and throw you down like a weed.
You may chance it awhile with the girls like that, if you please;
But you want a woman to trust when you settle down with a wife;
And a seaman’s thought of growin’ old at his ease
Is a snug little house on the land to shelter the rest of his life.
So that was old Poisson’s dream,-did you know the Cap’?
A brown little Frenchman, clever, and brave, and quick as a fish,-
Had a wife and kids on the other side of the map,-
And a rose-covered cottage for them and him was his darlin’ wish.
“I ‘ave sail,” says he, in his broken-up Frenchy talk,
“Mos’ forty-two year; I ‘ave go on all part of de worl’ dat ees wet.
I’m seeck of de boat and de water. I rader walk
Wid ma Josephine in one garden; an’ eef we get tire’, we set!
“You see dat bateau, Sainte Brigitte? I bring ‘er dh’are
From de Breton coas’, by gar, jus’ feefteen year bifore.
She ole w’en she come on Kebec, but Holloway Fr
(Henry Van Dyke)
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Based on Keywords: sainte, forty-two, breton, breathin, landsman, carmen, bifore, ees, frenchy, likin, rader