Verse > Rudyard Kipling > Verse: 1885–1918
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Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936).  Verse: 1885–1918.  1922.
 
The North Sea Patrol
 
1914–18

WHERE the East wind is brewed fresh and fresh every morning,
  And the balmy night-breezes blow straight from the Pole,
I heard a Destroyer sing: “What an enjoyable life does one lead on the North Sea Patrol!
 
“To blow things to bits is our business (and Fritz’s),
  Which means there are mine-fields wherever you stroll.        5
Unless you’ve particular wish to die quick, you’ll a-
  void steering close to the North Sea Patrol.
 
“We warn from disaster the mercantile master
  Who takes in high Dudgeon our life-saving rôle,
For every one’s grousing at Docking and Dowsing 1        10
  The marks and the lights on the North Sea Patrol.”
 
[Twelve verses omitted.]

So swept but surviving, half drowned but still driving,
I watched her head out through the swell off the shoal,
And I heard her propellers roar: “Write to poor fellers
  Who run such a Hell as the North Sea Patrol!”        15
 
Note 1. Shoals and lights on the East Coast. [back]
 
 
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