Clipper Days

A SONG FROM SNUG HARBOUR

An Old Sailor to A Young One

I am eighty year old and somewhat,
But I give to God the praise
That they made a sailor of me
In the good old Clipper Days

When men loved ships like women,
And going to sea was more
Than signing on as deckhand
And scrubbing a cabin floor,

Or chipping rust from iron
And painting ... and chipping again.
In the days of Clipper Sailing
The sea was the place for men :

You could spy our great ships running
White-clouded, tier on tier;
You could hear their trampling thunder
As they leaned to, racing near;

And it was " heigh and ho, my lad, "
And " we are outward bound, " —
And we sang full many a chantey
As we walked the capstan round,

And we sang full many a chantey
As we drove through wind and wet
To the music of Five Oceans
Ringing in my memory yet. . . .

Go drive your dirty freighters
That fill the sky with reek, —
But we — we took in sky-sails
High as a mountain-peak;

Go, fire your sweaty engines
And watch your pistons run, —
We had the winds to serve us,
The living winds, my son,

And we didn't need propellers
That kicked a mess about,
But we hauled away with chanteys
Or we let the great sails out. . . .

And I'm eighty year old and somewhat —
And I give to God the praise
That they made a sailor of me
In the good old Clipper Days!
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