Anxieties of a Purser

Never let a glass keep ringing
Is a sea superstition.
A tumbler, accidentally tingled so that it chimes
Must be stilled at once, or it means bad fortune.
Evenings in the old Echolalia
How we used to keep our host, the purser, leaping from side to side,
By surreptitiously ticking our glasses.
There was only one way for him to avert ill omen —
Keeping our goblets full.
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