Now the men who shipped aboard of me in other days were these:
Andy Mack of Gloucester, Hernandeau from Quebec,
And "Freshwater" Kilmanton, and "Salt Sam" Peck,
And skipper Byce and young Byce who walked the after deck.
But they're gone, and I lie listening to old voices from the seas.
And sun-rotting at a dock is no decent death to die!
If tides would lift me high enough, and rotten ropes would break,
I'd run a last, high, windy course for old time's sake;
Old hands upon my tiller and new foam in my wake,
Out where white-rimmed water hills race to meet the sky.
Lifted on the crest of them, I'd face the yellow sun,
And racing down their farther slopes, I'd plunge through foaming green,
Sinking slow, unbroken, like a stately-stepping queen,
Down to still, dark waters the sun has never seen,
And never ship may find them till her last voyage is done.
Andy Mack's at rest out there, a hundred fathom down,
And young Byce is with him, and they'd cheer to see me ride
Past the reach of hungry waves, below the lowest tide,
Into some green weedy harbor of the deep sea's under side,
Where the Lord gives peace to sailor men and good ships when they drown!