A Tale of the Sea

A Tale of the Sea

I slept and dreamt of the ocean:
Of tarry sailors joys:
Of the tales which they loved to fashion
Of days when they were boys:
And I laughed aloud in my sleep:
“In those days they said they were men:
Is there one who has a record
Of worth: for a poets pen?”

Then I saw a great long line
Of ghostly ships come from the North;
Come churning the seas to foam
Splashing their bows with froth.
Dipping now into the hollows:
Now on the top they rise;
Pointing their booms to the oceans bed
And anon to the wind swept skies.

— Ernest Shackleton, composed aboard the tramp steamer Monmouthshire, en route from China to Europe (1894/5)

About Ernest Shackleton

Polar Explorer. Leader of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, 1914-1917.
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