Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. V. Nature
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume V. Nature.  1904.
 
VII. The Sea
“A wet sheet and a flowing sea”
Allan Cunningham (1784–1842)
 
A WET sheet and a flowing sea,—
  A wind that follows fast,
And fills the white and rustling sail,
  And bends the gallant mast,—
And bends the gallant mast, my boys,        5
  While, like the eagle free,
Away the good ship flies, and leaves
  Old England on the lee.
 
O for a soft and gentle wind!
  I heard a fair one cry;        10
But give to me the snoring breeze
  And white waves heaving high,—
And white waves heaving high, my boys,
  The good ship tight and free;
The world of waters is our home,        15
  And merry men are we.
 
There ’s tempest in yon hornèd moon,
  And lightning in yon cloud;
And hark the music, mariners!
  The wind is piping loud,—        20
The wind is piping loud, my boys,
  The lightning flashing free;
While the hollow oak our palace is,
  Our heritage the sea.
 
 
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