The "Roosevelt" and the "Antinoe"

HER high freeboard towering above the pier,
She lay beneath the lift of spars and blocks:
Her port life month by month and year by year
Knew nothing but the humdrum of the docks;--
The rumble of trucks along the warehouse floors,
The blare of sirens, shout of stevedores,
The play of tackle under the gruff mood
Of winches, clatter of hooks and booms, subdued
To the credit balance that must never fail
The ledgers of Hoboken Lines--so she,
Built for the tides of commerce on the sea,
Was under schedule in an hour to sail.

In the Commissioner's room it was agreed
Between the Master and the mariners,
That as the men received per month or run
Their wage in dollars and were guaranteed
By statutes of the State that they might draw
Their scale of rations--bread and meat and water,
Lemon and lime and such prescribed by law,
With means of warmth in weather; they, the crew,
Should pledge themselves to conduct, faithful, true,
And orderly, in honest, sober manner;
At all times in their duties diligent;
To the Master's lawful word obedient,
In everything relating to the vessel--
Safety of passengers, cargo, and store,
Whether on board, in boats, or on the shore
.

And with the reading thus concluded, both
The parties to the contract gave their oath
Of signature. Items of birthplace, age,
Height and description then were written in,
Each sailor's time of service with his wage-
Allotment, and address of Next-of-Kin.
So, with their sea-bags on their backs, the crew
Went up the gangway to the foc's'le; threw

-136-

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Collected Poems
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction xi
  • Dunkirk 1
  • Come Away, Death 16
  • From Stone to Steel 20
  • Still Life 21
  • Father Time 23
  • The Baritone 26
  • The Old Organon (1225 A.D.) 29
  • The New (1937 A.D.) 31
  • Before an Altar - (after Gueudecourt) 36
  • The Titanic 97
  • The Brawler in "Who's Who" 129
  • The "Roosevelt" and the "Antinoe" 136
  • Newfoundland Reminiscences 165
  • Old Harry 169
  • The Shark 187
  • The Fog 188
  • Overheard by a Stream 191
  • To Angelina, an Old Nurse 192
  • Toll of the Bells 196
  • Time-Worn 202
  • The Lee-Shore 203
  • Erosion 205
  • The Sea-Cathedral 213
  • A Miscellany 223
  • A Prairie Sunset 225
  • Out of Step - (1931 A.D.) 226
  • The Parable of Puffsky 227
  • A Feline Silhouette 232
  • Comrades 234
  • The Epigrapher 235
  • Extravaganzas 239
  • The Witches' Brew (in Celebration of a Fifth Wedding Anniversary) 241
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