THE SHIPS

For many years I’ve watched the ships a-sailing to and fro,
The mighty ships, the little ships, the speedy and the slow:
And many a time I’ve told myself that someday I would go
Around the world that is so full of wonders.

The swift and stately liners, how they run without a rest!
The great three-masters, they have touched the East and told the West!
The monster burden-bearers — oh, they all have plunged and pressed
Around the world that is so full of wonders.

The cruiser and the battleship that loom as dark as doubt,
The devilish destroyer and the hateful hideous scout —
These deadly things may also rush, with roar and snarl and shout,
Around the world that is so full of wonders.

My lord he owns a grand white yacht, most beautiful and fine,
But seldom does she leave the firth lest he should fail to dine.
I’d find a thousand richer feasts than his — if she were mine —
Around the world that is so full of wonders.

The shabby tramp that like a wedge is hammered through the seas,
The little brown-sailed brigantine that traps the slightest breeze —
Oh, I’d be well content to fare aboard the least of these
Around the world that is so full of wonders.

The things I’ve heard, the things I’ve read, the things I’ve dreamed might be,
The boyish tales, the old men’s yarns, they will not pass from me.
I’ve heard, I’ve read, I’ve dreamed .  .  .  . But all the time I’ve longed tosee —
Around the world that is so full of wonders.

So year by year I watch the ships a-sailing to and fro,
The ships that come as strangers and the ships I’ve learned to know.
.  .  . Folk smile to hear an old man say that some day he will go
Around the world that is so full of wonders.

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