The Endless Lure

When I was a lad I went to sea
And they made a cabin boy of me.
(Yo ho, haul away, my bullies)
We'd hardly put out from the bay

When my knees sagged in and my face turned grey;
So I went to the captain and I implored
That he'd let the pilot take me aboard,
And fetch me back to the land again
Where the earth was sure for the feet of men. . . .

But the Captain, he laughed out strong, and said,
" You'll follow the sea, lad, till you're dead;
For it gets us all — the sky and the foam
And the waves and the wind, — till a ship seems home. "

When I shipped as an A. B. before the mast
I swore each voyage would be my last.
Was always vowing, and meant it, too,
That I'd never sign with another crew. . . .

You tell me " The Castle " is outward bound,
An old sky-sailor, for Puget Sound?
" Too old! " ... but I know the sea like a book. . . .
Well, I've heard that your " Old Man " needs a cook! ...
Yes, I could rustle for twenty men. . . .
So, God be praised, you can use me, then? ...
Oh, there's only a few years left for me,
And I want to die, and be buried at — sea!
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