Master and Commander
© J.A. Storey -Taylor 03/12/2002
Does the wind wind lazily through the vines
And gather force as it travels to the coast,
To blow sweetly brisk from the shore
And keep safe from the rocks the ships of the line?
Do their sails shimmer brightly in the sun,
Brought starker by the coats of red and blue?
Are the galley fires burning?
Is the capstan freely turning,
As ten thousand feet beat rhythm with the drum?
May you ever find fair sailing, Patrick,
In return for your heritage that charts
England's chequered history
With all its blood and glory
Master of your craft and commander of our hearts.
Does the ship rock gently in the night
With colours at the mizzen and sparking from the guns -
Or roll violently from nature's troubled ways?
Is the hold awash, or does the hull hold tight?
Does the rum's fire keep a sailor warm
And the spindrift fly to kiss his soul?
Does an albatross guide?
Do dolphins joy beside -
Or prayers hold fast the mast amidst a storm?
Oh, I pray you ever find fair sailing, Patrick,
Master of your craft and commander of our hearts