Robert Kirkland Kernighan

(25 April 1854 – 3 November 1926 / Ontario)

On New Year's Day - Poem by Robert Kirkland Kernighan

Out from the workshops, high and broad,
Bright as a jewel ? as smooth as rhyme ;

Launched from the wonderful docks of God,
My country floats on the crest of time.

She woos the waters, she braves the blast,
She recks no rapid, she fears no fog,

And I am a sailor before the mast,

And my name is down in the captain's log.

She dances across the harbor bar ;

The skipper he shakes his canvas free ;
She rides the tides like a man-o'-war,

And steers her course for the open sea.

For friends a welcoming smile she hath
A word and a blow for all her foes ;

The pirate that ventures across our path
Gets out of the way or down she goes !

And will she lower her sun-kissed flag,
And leave her course on the open seas,

To join the fleet of Admiral Brag,

And ferry his freight of fraud for fees?

No, no ; our flag is forever free :

The world is big and the ocean broad ;
And ever and aye shall our war cry be,
' We '11 sink or swim in the name of God.'

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Poem Submitted: Friday, May 18, 2012

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