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Heh! Walk her round. Break, ah break it out o'
that! Break our starboard bower out, apeak, awash,
and clear. Port-port she casts, with the harbour-roil beneath
her foot, And that's the last o' bottom we shall see this
Well, ah fare you well, for we've got to take
her out againTake her out in ballast, riding light and
And it's time to clear and quit
When the hawser grips the bitt,
promise from the sea!
Heh! Tally on! Aft and walk away with her!
Handsome to the cathead, now; O tally on the
Stop, seize and fish, and easy on the davit-guy.
Up, well up the fluke of her, and inboard haul!
Well, ah fare you well, for the Channel wind's
took hold of us,
Choking down our voices as we snatch the
And it's blowing up for night,
And she's dropping Light on Light, And she's snorting under bonnets for a
breath of open sea.
Wheel, full and by; but she'll smell her road alone
to-night. Sick she is and harbour-sick-O sick to clear the
land! Roll down to Brest with the old Red Ensign
over usCarry on and thrash her out with all she'll
Well, ah fare you well, and it's Ushant gives
the door to us, Whirling like a windmill on the dirty scud
Till the last, last flicker goes
(Walk her down to Mother Carey !)
she feeds her chicks at sea!
THERE dwells a wife by the Northern Gate,
And a wealthy wife is she; She breeds a breed o' rovin' men
And casts them over sea,
And some are drowned in deep water,
And some in sight o' shore,
And ever she sends more.
For since that wife had gate and gear,
And hearth and garth and bield, She willed her sons to the white harvest,
And that is a bitter yield.
She wills her sons to the wet ploughing,
To ride the horse of tree;
Far-spent from out the sea.
The good wife's sons come home again
With little into their hands, But the lore of men that ha' dealt with men
In the new and naked lands.
But the faith of men that ha' brothered men
By more than the easy breath,
In the open books of death.
Rich are they, rich in wonders seen,
But poor in the goods o' men, So what they ha' got by the skin o' their teeth
They sell for their teeth again.
For whether they lose to the naked skin,
Or win to their hearts' desire, They tell it all to the weary wife
That nods beside the fire.
Her hearth is wide to every wind
That makes the white ash spin;
Her sons go out and in;
(Out with great mirth that do desire
Hazard of trackless ways,
And warm before the blaze);
And some return by failing light,
And some in waking dream, For she hears the heels of the dripping ghosts
That ride the rough roof-beam.
Home, they come home from all the ports,
The living and the dead;
For her blessing on their head!