I Was Once a Sailor
Yes, I was once a sailor lad.
I plowed the restless sea.
I saw the sky look fair and glad
And I felt proud and free.
I breathed the air of many a clime,
Saw beauties fair and gay.
My hopes were fixed on future time
The present slipped away.
Experience and hope's brilliant view
Like mist dissolved away.
I found small harvest did accrue
To plowmen of the sea.
I found my team would rage and rove.
'Twas but the fickle wind
That, plowing o'er the rolling sea,
No furrow left behind.
Days have passed by. I'm snug on shore,
Safe from the sea's alarms.
I have a never failing store:
A fifteen-acre farm.
Oh, sweet it is to till the soil
'Neath our New England sky,
And sweet when I have eased my toil
To muse on days gone by.
From the logbook of Samuel Robertson of New Bedford, who made two voyages to New
Zealand in 1837-40 and 1849-52.