This tale is true, and mine. It tells How the sea took me, swept me back And forth in sorrow and fear and pain, Showed me suffering in a hundred ships, In a thousand ports, and in me. It tells Of smashing surf when I sweated in the cold Of an anxious watch, perched in the bow As it dashed under cliffs. My feet were cast In icy bands, bound with frost, With frozen chains, and hardship groaned Around my heart. Hunger tore At my sea-weary soul. No man sheltered On the quiet fairness of earth can feel How wretched I was, drifting through winter On an ice-cold sea, whirled in sorrow, Alone in a world blown clear of love, Hung with icicles. (…)
And who could believe, knowing but The passion of cities, swelled proud with wine And no taste of misfortune, how often, how wearily, I put myself back on the paths of the sea
I have survived starvation, a tempest, pirate hunters, jealous captains, mutinous crews, angry lords, a queen, a king and a goddamn British navy. So to whatever extent you may be concerned that some day we will
clash, worried that though today we be friends, some day, you will have
no choice but to be my end… I won’t worry too much.