Sailor's Yarn (Poem by James McIntyre)

Suggested Poem

Sailor's Yarn

By James McIntyre


While voyaging on northern seas
For days we could not catch a breeze,
But were held fast as if in vice
Surrounded by the bergs of ice,
We could not move the ship or boat
But on low, flat iceberg we did float;
Of provisions we took good store
With big oars we rowed the berg to shore,
And pride and joy each one feels
When we had caught ten thousand seals,
And our brave boys each one they dare
To boldly capture great white bear;
On floating berg we built with boards
A storehouse for to hold our hordes,
We had a stove and stock of coal,
So we enjoyed this voyage droll,
In centre of berg we dug a hole
And erected a strong pole,
The frost and ice soon held it fast
And well it served us for a mast,
On which we stretched out our sails
And scud along before the gales,
Until we came to an island
And on its sides it seemed highland,
And Britain being queen of seas,
For her this island we did seize,
To give her new coaling station
For to benefit the nation,
So when we had sailed landward
We erected British standard
On the highest mountain top,
Which graceful down to sea did slope,
We cast our anchor in its side
So to explore it far and wide,
But what was our astonishment
Without the least admonishment,
Our island soon away did float
As if it was a mighty boat.
Can you believe this wondrous tale?
It proved to be a monster whale,
And o'er the ocean quick it flew
With our great iceberg and our crew,
Until it came to Newfoundland,
Where all did safe on the ground land;
Poor whale was stranded on the beach
And his sea home no more could reach,
Our crew in great wealth each on shares,
By selling whale and seals and bears,
We hired steam tug to reach our ship,
Now free from ice we had quick trip,
And she being loaded down with seal,
And we all shared in common weal,
For joy each of us had reason,
Making two trips in one season.

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