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Clipper Ships

by Robert N. Rose

Ships are the nearest things to dreams that hands have ever made,
For somewhere deep in their oaken hearts the soul of a song is laid;
A soul that sings with the ship along through plunging hills of blue,
And fills her canvas cups of white with winds that drive her through.
For how could a nail and a piece of wood, tied with a canvas thread,
Become a nymph on moon-washed paths if the soul of the ship were fled?

Her bosom throbs as her lover's arms clasp her in fond embrace,
And the joyous kiss of briny lips is fresh on her maiden face.
No storm can smother the hempen song that wells in her laughing throat—
Small wonder then that men go mad for the love of the sea and a boat.
For the singing sheet is a siren that tugs at the hearts of men,
And down to the sea they must go once more, tho they never come back again.

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