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English Poetry II: From Collins to Fitzgerald.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.

Allan Cunningham

464. A Wet Sheet and a Flowing Sea

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,

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;

But give to me the snoring breeze

And white waves heaving high;

And white waves heaving high, my lads,

The good ship tight and free—

The world of waters is our home,

And merry men are we.

There’s tempest in yon hornéd moon,

And lightning in yon cloud;

But hark the music, mariners!

The wind is piping loud;

The wind is piping loud, my boys,

The lightning flashes free—

While the hollow oak our palace is,

Our heritage the sea.