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"Clippersong"



A cloud of bellied canvas, a bone within her teeth,
A spanking breeze behind her and not a single reef,
She tramps her forefoot through the seas, a sight beyond belief.
        
Magesticly and happily she plies the ocean vast
The trade winds are a’tugging at every straining mast.
Bearing tea from China, phosphate from the Azores.
Climbing mighty ocean swells she dips and rolls and yaws.
        
Now the freight’s containerised, huge cities made of steel,
Ply the world's great trade routes, the oceans brought to heel.
But one can long for yesteryear, to hear the South Wind’s song
Singing in the rigging tall, bowling us along.
        
The whispered hiss of salty spray, the gulls that follow cry,
The creaking of a wooden hull sailing hard and by
Are songs to stir most any man.  The old songs of the sea
Come whispering across the range and they’re calling me.
        
A cloud of bellied canvas, a bone within her teeth,
A spanking breeze behind her and not a single reef,
She tramps her forefoot through the seas, a sight beyond belief.

David Henry        9/12/98.
        

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