Posts Tagged 'sailor'

Christmas at Sea

A poem from Robert Robert Louis Stevenson (1850 – 1894)

The sheets were frozen hard, and they cut the naked hand;
The decks were like a slide, where a seaman scarce could stand;
The wind was a nor’wester, blowing squally off the sea;
And cliffs and spouting breakers were the only things a-lee.

They heard the surf a-roaring before the break of day;
But ’twas only with the peep of light we saw how ill we lay.
We tumbled every hand on deck instanter, with a shout,
And we gave her the maintops’l, and stood by to go about.

All day we tacked and tacked between the South Head and the North;
All day we hauled the frozen sheets, and got no further forth;
All day as cold as charity, in bitter pain and dread,
For very life and nature we tacked from head to head.

We gave the South a wider berth, for there the tide race roared;
But every tack we made we brought the North Head close aboard:
So’s we saw the cliffs and houses, and the breakers running high,
And the coastguard in his garden, with his glass against his eye.

The frost was on the village roofs as white as ocean foam;
The good red fires were burning bright in every ‘long-shore home;
The windows sparkled clear, and the chimneys volleyed out;
And I vow we sniffed the victuals as the vessel went about.

The bells upon the church were rung with a mighty jovial cheer;
For it’s just that I should tell you how (of all days in the year)
This day of our adversity was blessèd Christmas morn,
And the house above the coastguard’s was the house where I was born.

O well I saw the pleasant room, the pleasant faces there,
My mother’s silver spectacles, my father’s silver hair;
And well I saw the firelight, like a flight of homely elves,
Go dancing round the china plates that stand upon the shelves.

And well I knew the talk they had, the talk that was of me,
Of the shadow on the household and the son that went to sea;
And O the wicked fool I seemed, in every kind of way,
To be here and hauling frozen ropes on blessèd Christmas Day.

They lit the high sea-light, and the dark began to fall.
‘All hands to loose top gallant sails,’ I heard the captain call.
‘By the Lord, she’ll never stand it,’ our first mate, Jackson, cried.
… ‘It’s the one way or the other, Mr. Jackson,’ he replied.

She staggered to her bearings, but the sails were new and good,
And the ship smelt up to windward just as though she understood.
As the winter’s day was ending, in the entry of the night,
We cleared the weary headland, and passed below the light.

And they heaved a mighty breath, every soul on board but me,
As they saw her nose again pointing handsome out to sea;
But all that I could think of, in the darkness and the cold,
Was just that I was leaving home and my folks were growing old.

Advertisements

the art of a sailor

an average sailor?

average-sailor

ht: @The_Mariner_

old sailors never die

old sailors

photo by Scott O’Donnell Photography (2009)

h/t: @PetraObbes

a downside of ocean sailing

sailor

from “The Show Me Book” (1966), illustrated by Jack Hanrahan

death sails [an animated short film]

this is a cute little video of how a sailor cheated Death.

h/t: @harrymvt

the sailor’s psalm 23

2015/01/img_4168.jpg

The Lord is my pilot, I shall not drift.
He guides me across the dark waters.
He steers me through deep channels.
He keeps my log.
Yea, though I sail ‘mid the thunders
and tempest of life,
I shall dread no anger, for He is with me;
His love and His care, shelter me.
He prepares a quiet harbor before me.
He anoints the waves with oil
My ship rides calmly.
Surely sunlight and starlight
shall guide me on the voyage I take,
And I will rest in the heaven’s port forever.

HT: Missions to Seafarers


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,344 other followers

my2fish archives

my2fish stats

  • 505,199 hits
Advertisements