“A ship in port is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for”

My vessel on the bottom lays,

And the breadth is a thousand leagues wide.

But this hapless mariner will brave the depths,

For a moments space by your side.


Many years I have travelled,

To lands both near and far.

Others have been heavenly,

Though hardly as celestial as thou art.


My crew long since abandoned,

For the perils knew they well;

Of violent storms and bitter chills,

And the enthralling sirens spell.


Yet once more myself I find here,

Duelling with the tide;

Who’s mail is not unlike the gown,

Who’s glow beneath you hide.


The sharks around me circling,

I’m afraid they smell my fear;

Try as I may to resolve it,

Still they near and near.


None of their company, do I desire;

My eyes are set on yours.

With artifice and cunning,

I am free from all their jaws.


Limbs begin to falter,

Courage starts to wane;

But if not now, I may never

Chance on you again.


Such grace as yours, little have I seen,

Nor such a pleasing air;

Electric eyes which capture me,

And porcelain skin so fair.


But fate, to-day, did side with love;

And by your side I find my frame;

Scarcely a moment have I been,

When I know, far longer I must remain.


My corse, near death and dank,

Who on your shore doth lay;

At the mercy of your foreign laws;

Toss me adrift or bid me stay.


Though, first, I do entreat you,

Fairest maiden before thou flit;

Who foundeth here a lowly soul,

Without a bark on who’s helm to sit.


Who long at sea hath been, and heard

None other thoughts, save his own;

Travelling far from shore to shore,

To find one who would with him roam.


The winds of fate, sure and true,

No doubt did us here convene.

And who be we to tempt cruel fate,

And not her workings glean?


“A long time”, quoth she,

“Have I, too, been upon a lonesome sea.

Braving tempest, ice and drought, in hopes

The winds would change for me.”


“A helpless tale is mine,

And so you I must forewarn;

Tis fraught with aches and sorrows,

From a dire past so torn.”


“My vessel, too, four thousand fathoms deep,

On the floor doth rest;

As is often the case, the barrelman

Saw no danger from his nest.”


I stood, transfixed, upon this seraphim,

Though the end of our encounter was nigh.

“Lo, there tolls the hour,” she spake

“And from here, I must fly.”


From my smitten frame, so soon,

Why did she need depart?

A moment’s space was all it took

For her to mark my heart.


Until the next I chance upon you,

Auburn-haired goddess sweet;

For surely the fate that will join us again,

Was the same that had us meet!


The time has come, to bid adieu,

To another traveller bold;

Navigating an oft miserable sea,

For a treasure far rarer than gold.


“Throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Mark Twain


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