It is an ancient Midfielder,
And he stoppeth one of two.
‘By the long grey beard and glittering eye,
Now wherefore stopp’st you?
The Bridegroom’s doors are closed shut,
We see no next of kin;
The sun has set, yet not a fret
Shall rustle the merry din.
Keane held on with the firmest hand,
“There was a ship,” quoth he.
“From box-to-box did trot to trot
And did conquer a mighty sea.”
The other man sat on a stone:
he cannot choose but hear;
And thus spake on that ancient man
Of times not far nor near.
The ship was cleared, the harbor cleared,
Merrily did we drop
Below the kirk, below the hill,
Below the lighthouse top.
The Sun came up upon the left,
Out of the sea came he!
And he shone bright, and on the right,
went down into the sea.
“We set out on that voyage,
with two lads atop the mast.
Below a crew with too much to do
In those days now past.”
The two most trusted, near the heart,
Pull and latch the outhaul.
The sail arisen, the wind ablowing,
Cruising ’til night shall fall.
Four at the back, a man to the rudder,
All tack and tackle, with hook and shackle.
Then a luff, we huff and puff,
And hear the ocean below us crackle.
Oh Captain Patrick, where’ve ye gone?
Time does catch the very best,
Did sea swallow you whole,
Or under soft Earth do ye rest?
The currents at last outran us,
Leaving us bitter, battered on shore.
Now cruises the dhow with short lateen,
Our mighty hulls welcome no more.
Time well spent but spent no less,
Robbed Robson of his gate.
We walk with cane where once we lunged,
Sea-legs warped by fate.
We ignored that fickle Albatross,
but really what’s to be done?
We played the game, the game goes on,
At least we had a bit of fun.