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Slow Boat To China

She's been ashore, laid up, these thirty years;
uncaulking at the seams, her timbers dry.
There's mutiny no more, no buccaneers,
no hearts of oak to keep her full and bye.
Blown beam-ends on, upon a stormy sea,
as nevermore to rise, I've seen her reel,
down by the stern or head. Then up comes she,
a scrap of sail above a leaden keel.
Time was we heard the distant shanty go
a-warping down the river for the deep,
‘Haul away, we'll haul away, Joe.'
No change of wind could leave her in the neap.
‘Slow Boat to China' by the waves baptised.
I see her now. The wind is in my eyes.
POET'S NOTES ABOUT THE POEM
Written after sailing my grandson's old toy boat
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