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The Worried Skipper By Wallace Irwin

Painting is "Vigilant" (can't tell by whom)

The Worried Skipper

"I hates to think of dyin'," says the skipper to the mate;
"Starvation, shipwrecks, heart disease, I loathe to contemplate.
I hates to think of vanities And all the crimes they lead to."
"Then," says the mate,
With looks sedate,
"Ye doesn't really need to."

"It fills me breast with sorrer," says the skipper with a sigh,
"To conjer up the happy days what careless has slipped by.
I hates to contemplate the day I ups and left me Mary."
"Then," says the mate,
"Why contemplate,
If it ain't necessary?"

"Suppose that this here vessel," says the skipper with a groan,
"Should lose 'er bearin's, run away, and hump upon a stone.
Suppose she'd shiver and go down, when save ourselves we couldn't."
The mate replies,
"Oh, blow me eyes!
Suppose ag'in, she shouldn't?"

"The chances is agin' us," says the skipper in dismay;
"If fate don't kill us out and out, it gits us all some day.
So many perish of old age, the death rate must be fearful."
"Well," says the mate
"At any rate,
we might as well die cheerful."

"I read in them statistic books," the nervous skipper cries,
"That every minute by the clock some feller up and dies;
I wonder what disease they gits that kills in such a hurry."
The mate he winks
and says "I thinks
they mostly dies of worry."

"Of certain things," the skipper sighs, "me conscience won't be rid,
And all the wicked things I done I sure should not have did.
The wrinkles on me inmost soul compel me oft to shiver."
"Yer soul's first rate,"
Observes the mate,
"The trouble's with yer liver."

WRITTEN BY Wallace Irwin, a poet and playwrite, and journalist who was born in 1875, and died in 1959. He wrote quite a few other poems including "A NAUTICAL EXTRAVAGANCE".

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Chas. Vogt 02-Dec-2009 15:18
A Nautical Extravgance. Seventy-seven years ago, that poem was included in my High School English Class. It has stuck with me ever since. Having lived on a sailboat for several years, I drove my wife nuts in reciting it (or certain passages of it as the occasion arose). To this day I do not know why it has made such an impact upon my memory. I still recite it too freely to suit her. Anyway, thanks, Mr. Irwin.