The Steerman's Song


When freshly blows the northern gale,
And under courses snug we fly;
Or when light breezes swell the sail,
And royals proudly sweep the sky;
'Longside the wheel, unwearied still
I stand, and, as my watchful eye
Doth mark the needle's faithful thrill,
I think of her I love, and cry,
Port, my boy! port.

When calms delay, or breezes blow
Right from the point we wish to steer;
When by the wind close-hauled we go,
And strive in vain the port to near;
I think 't is thus the fates defer
My bliss with one that's far away,
And while remembrance springs to her,
I watch the sails and sighing say,
Thus, my boy! thus.

But see the wind draws kindly aft,
All hands are up the yards to square,
And now the floating stu'n-sails waft
Our stately ship thro' waves and air.
Oh! then I think that yet for me
Some breeze of fortune thus may spring,
Some breeze to waft me, love, to thee —
And in that hope I smiling sing,
Steady, boy! so.
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