BENEATH THE SOUTHERN CROSS
He leans his bulk against the rail,
And watches stern to bow.
Abaft the beam, a blowing whale.
White phosphor neath the prow.
His lady grey, his mistress, doth roll and pitch and toss.
Her bosom is his cradle, beneath the Southern Cross.
The breeze wafts warm against his face,
A soft and scented plume.
The shrouds become a gingham lace,
Set rustling in perfume.
The moon's an orange lantern, fain hung by Valkyrie,
To lead the lookout and his ship, through silken, southern sea.
He lifts his head to darkest night,
An ebon canvas laid,
And brushed with diamonds twinkling bright,
A myriad stars arrayed.
Beneath all this he feels so small he wonders if, on high,
Another lookout guides his ship neath star-splashed southern sky.
The mast glows bright, t'would eerie be,
But the lookout doth admire,
Good omen means this flaming tee,
Brought by Saint Elmo's Fire.
The flying fish break water, to bask in flick'ring light,
The dolphins rise in graceful arcs, to praise this southern night.
He's sailed the oceans of the earth,
This hearty lad in blue.
In hurricanes he's proved his worth,
Fought typhoons off Peru.
But ne'er in all his watches, this rugged world across,
Did he hear God's voice to starboard, till he sailed the Southern Cross.