Music Of The Waters - online book

Sailors' Chanties, Songs Of The Sea, Boatmen's, Fishermen's,
Rowing Songs, & Water Legends with lyrics & sheet music

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xviii                     Introduction.
passed away, and with the fleet Atlantic " greyhounds" fades the last glamour of mystery from the pages of marine history. But the romance of the sea can never die, and for all time we shall have the storms and calms that alter­nately rule the watery way, the wrecks and losses, the longings, the waitings, and the terrible tales, to remind us of man's inability to cope with the mysterious, trackless deep.
There is one being though who is never familiar with the sea, and that is the being who knows it best, namely, the sailor. In all he says or sings of the world of water that is his home, Jack is never guilty of any sentiment that breathes of mastery over the element, or exults in the life of the sea ; it is too real a thing for him to adopt the conscious boastful, masterful tone which is attributed to him, and it is only sometimes in the impotence of despair that fierce imprecations on sea or wind will break from him. It is Gibbon who says, " There is but a plank be­tween a sailor and eternity."
The poetry of the sea is written on shore. Sailors act it, but do not write it. They form part of the poetry of ocean ; they are the heroes that shine from its living) terrible pages ; they are, they must be, brave men who can do their duty 'midst such perils. They must be brave, or nature brands them cowards, for the wind and the wave are infallible tests of all a sailor's knots and splices. Neptune is an unrelenting judge, and hurries his prisoner, without trial or jury, into the Everlasting Presence.
Three great pleasures, in the midst of all his perils and privations, we may rest assured Jack enjoys: smoking, yarning, and singing. With a pipe, whensoever and

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