The Sun's over the Foreyard

When I was a passenger in the barque Windrush
I became aware of a pleasant sea custom.
Along toward noon
The captain's boy used to come politely to me
And whisper
" The captain's compliments, and the sun's over the foreyard. "
And presently I learned that this meant
Come aft to the poop
And have a drink.
For mariners, men of sound self-control,
Never touch the bottle
Until the sun reaches the yards.

Now that I myself am a seaman
I always ship in square sail,
Never in steam.
In a steamer
The yards are so much higher.
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