As I was scrolling through my list of poems looking for something to post today, I skittered past this one at first, when the word ‘Nantucket‘ jumped out at me. Well that certainly gave me pause, as I didn’t remember ever writing anything that had ‘Nantucket’ in the title. Well folks, senility has finally set in, not only had I written this one, it was only a few short months ago.(4) But as I read it over, I felt as if I could almost hear the creaking of the timbers and the “old-salts” singing their sea shanties “in the days of wooden ships and iron men,” as they sailed around the Capes of Horn and Hope, in search of trade and treasure.. Aye, upon the sea they’d sailed and into the hands of God did place their trust. It is a poem of adventure, danger, faith, and freedom. And in the end, for some, the realization that you can only ask so much of Him without taking some of the responsibility for your own self’s preservation.
Aye, I do be in hope that ye find it to be to your pleasure and that ye will be gracious and kind in your thoughts and remembrances! Now where’s me bottle o’ rum?
On the near horizon came
a storm of peril great.
With a sky as dark as the devil’s heart
yet, not else to do, but wait.
So, battened down the hatches were
as they prepared for nature’s might.
As the master urged the lads to pray,
that God keep them through the night.
“For the wind shall rage
from the mouth of Thor,
and from the depths of Neptune,
the sea, shall rise a score!”
“So, make fast all the riggin’s
and tie down all adrift.
Then pray to God, to Nor’east,
that wind again don’t shift.”
“Then at the helm, a brave man must
steer into the gale,
and hold her steady as she be,
or it’s the bottom, should he fail.”
“But we’ll ride it out on faith now lads
and our fate be in God’s hands.
So pray to Him, He don’t want us now,
and we’ll soon drink, upon dry land.”
“Where we’ll kiss the wives and the ladies,
but the first, be on the ground.
What a gloriful day, then it shall be,
whence we’ve broached, Nantucket Sound!”
Ah, it ’twas the fiercest storm
that e’er a man made note,
waves above the mast, there were,
yet still, she’d stayed afloat.
A tribute to her shipyard sure
as she was, New England born.
Surviving Hell, upon the sea
as she came ’round the Cape of Horn!
With crew and cargo safe and well
they now were homeward bound.
All hands now dreamin’ of that gloriful day,
whence they’d broach, Nantucket Sound.
But the sea a cruel and fickle lass
would once more cause them fear.
For in ten days hence a lesser storm,
would cause their mast to sheer.
And so their journey homeward
delayed by bad luck found.
But in the end, all good prevailed,
as they broached, Nantucket Sound.
But, it ‘twas the end of more than one
who had sailed aboard.
No more to face the dangers there
and to the land now moored.
Yes, they’d live their lives on high, dry land
and nevermore sail outward-bound.
Content they be to stand on watch
across Nantucket Sound.
Copyright© Jack Downing, aka Jake @poemsandponderings.wordpress.com. All rights reserved. Contents may not be reprinted or disseminated in any manner without the expressed written consent of the author. JRD 1/24/13