The Old Sailor's Remedy

When love is driving hard ahead
Through squall on gusty squall
There's nothing like a ship at sea
With masts square-rigged and tall…
Jack swears that he will never,
He will never love again:
(They've nosed the ship from harbour
Through the grey, enormous rain);
Jim vows that he will never
Look again in Mary's eyes:
(And both of them believe their oaths—
Yet what they swear is—lies!)
Oh Billy and his girl were out
For many a doleful day:
The only remedy for all
Was for to sail away,
To sail away, to sail away
Forgetting girls and love
Where, white as new-washed sheep, the waves
Crowd onward, drove on drove.

Oh, heave the rattling anchor up
And walk the capstan round—
They've left the god of love behind,
They're free, and outward bound. . . .
One day … and two … the ocean sweeps
And curdles at the prow—
Then comes a pull to Billy's mouth
A pucker to Jim's brow,
And Jack, he climbs, disconsolate,
To reef the sails above—
They're thinking, Oh, they're thinking
Of the little girls they love. . . .
It isn't very long before
The ship's a secret flame
As every seaman, night and day,
Repeats some woman's name,
And, as they holystone the deck,
Or chip the rust, or paint,
The things they didn't like in them
Seem virtues of a saint:
Oh, some say this, and some say that
When sweethearts don't agree—
But I say KEEP THE GIRLS' AT HOME
AND SHIP THE LADS TO SEA .
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