John Freeman

(1880-1929 / England)

Sailing Of The _Glory_ - Poem by John Freeman

Merrily shouted all the sailors
As they left the town behind;
Merrily shouted they and gladdened
At the slip-slap of the wind.
But envious were those faint home-keepers,
Faint land-lovers, as they saw
How the _Glory_ dipped and staggered--
Envying saw
Pass the ship while all her sailors
Merrily shouted.

Far and far on eastern waters
Sailed the ship and yet sailed on,
While the townsmen, faint land-lovers,
Thought, 'How long is't now she's gone?
Now, maybe, Bombay she touches,
Now strange craft about her throng';
Till she grew but half-remembered,
Gone so long:
Quite forgot how all her sailors
Merrily shouted.

Far in unfamiliar waters
Ship and shipmen harbourage found,
Where the rocks creep out like robbers
After travellers tempest-bound.
Then those faint land-lovers murmured
Doleful thanks not dead were they:--
Ah, yet envious, though the _Glory_
Sunken lay,
Hearing again those farewell voices
Merrily shouting.

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Rudyard Kipling


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Poem Submitted: Friday, September 24, 2010

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