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Around The Horn

Alan S Jeeves 1951 (Lancashire)

Take a drink o' grog boys
Your home is far away;
Midst the gales and stormy noise
Close your eyes and pray.
Pray God not desert your soul
And leave you here forlorn;
His time has come to test you all
You're 'bout to round The Horn.

The shivered timbers creaking,
The straining oak beams creep;
This devil's day is seeking
To claim you for the deep.
The stinging rain bombards you
With all its mightful force,
The fiendish wind attempting to
Divert you from your course.

The lookout in the crow's nest,
The Flying Dutchman spies;
A hundred yards or more, at best,
Right there before his eyes.
A ghost ship with its fated crew
Never making shore;
Dancing in and out of view...
Adrift for evermore.

Your weary eyes are half ajar,
Overcome with sleep;
Slumber overdue, by far,
Your vigil watch you keep.
But close your eyes and you are cast
Crashing to the waves
Joining shipmates from the past
Therein their sea-deep graves.

The helmsman ~ now the pilot ~
Travails to navigate;
Averting every islet
Or hazard in the strait.
Holding firm, the route he plans
Maintains an even keel,
Clenching both his naked hands
Frozen to the wheel.

And now Pacific waters lie
Half a world to rear;
Atlantic breakers sailors spy,
And cheer a hearty cheer.
A golden earring you may choose,
Your left lobe to be worn;
You hauled your weight and paid your dues...
The rounding of The Horn.

About this poem

A sea shanty from 1983

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Submitted by AlanSJeeves on July 18, 2021

1:15 min read
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Alan S Jeeves

Alan S Jeeves is a Lancashire (England) born, Yorkshire based classical poet. more…

All Alan S Jeeves poems | Alan S Jeeves Books

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    "Around The Horn" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 25 Sep. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/105239/around-the-horn>.

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