I once met a sailor in a hut by the sea,
Powerfully built and handsome was he;
He said to me heartily, "What do you seek?
Do you look for the captain? Come on boy, speak!"
I said to the man that I'd come looking around,
In search of a place where a ship was the ground,
and the sky was blue and the seagul's were white,
A job on the seas, that was all in my sight.
The sailor looked thoughtful, and sat down by the fire.
"I've sailed for years and for years without tire.
If I could take them back I'd do them again,
The same way as before, every sorrow and sin.
For this life on the sea is what I've come to enjoy,
Far apart from my pay and the work I employ.
When I was a lad, perhaps several years older,
than you are right now, but not very much bolder,
I set sail in a boat, a rotten old craft,
Its bottom full of holes, and it's cabin of draft,
and I sailed with not but the wind at my back,
the spray in my face, with no one on my track,
Like a man who sits alone playing cards by the sand,
I played my fate carelessly, from land to land,
I witnessed the wonders of walking on waves,
and strolling through storms, and bending in caves,
of water and foam, and every night,
I'd lay out and dream by the heaven's starlight,
I could count on one hand all the friends that I knew,
the whales and the winds and the waters so blue.
Hardships I faced, and I overcame them all,
Me and my boat with its mast so tall.
That was many years ago, and so long that I wonder,
If I'll ever tire of the sound of high thunder,
as it peels through the sky, and whether I'll ever,
Find a girl for my wife, who'll brave both wind and weather.
But somehow I doubt it, I'll travel alone,
Till the high God in heaven brings my heart back home.
The sea is my maiden, and she never grows weary,
She never grows dim, and she never grows dreary.
She is calm in one minute, stormy the next,
but she never does anger me, I am never vexed,
by her twisting and turning, for she's always the same,
the skies will turn sunny, at the end of the game.
So lad, if you've chosen this life for your own,
I caution you dearly that once you have grown,
in the bosom of the ocean and slept in her might,
You will always forever be locked in her sight.
She will be your great treasure, no one else will compete,
with the salt on your hands and the waves on your feet.
Now I bid you goodnight." and he blew out the fire,
"I must journy tomorrow, and brave the sea's ire."
As I left the man's hut, and strolled by the sand,
I thought to myself, and tried to understand,
What all these things meant, but my mind just grew colder,
I knew I wouldn't know them till I was much older.
I slept and I thought and then I slept again,
I sat in the dawn with my hand on my chin,
I rose up and walked to where a sailor was making,
A list of new recruits, whose first journey were taking.
I hailed the man, and I started out calling,
"Put my name down sir, for the sea, she is calling."