To Hal Colebatch
A heaving deck, a sail unfurled,
The navigator’s art,
Will find the measure of the world
And of the human heart.
For the seafarer knows his fate
Depends on judging true
Both what the elements dictate
And what a man may do.
He knows that he must reckon right,
If he’s to voyage far,
That balance of the inner light
And of the outer star.
And all his time is ordered by
The vigils he must keep
To steer between the fickle sky
And the unknowing deep.
And these are obligations laid
Alike on you and me,
For more are of the sailor’s trade
Than ever put to sea.