October 26, 2009

The Boatman's Lament Redux

by John Brady

All sailors know that Pride doth go
Often before a fall
That once struck low by Lady Luck
It’s hard to stand back tall

I studied thus my folly
And analyzed my error
The glee among my comrades
Did often cause me terror

But grimly did I carry on
With practice and with care
And felt that of my embarrassment
No one was still aware

And so just one year later
At the very scene of the fall
I once again responded
To another boating call

The scene was near identical
Three boats were full of guests
I double checked at everything
Determined to be best

And so we sailed out once again
Upon the streaming main
The other pilots waiting
For the gods to resume their game

Oh, Carefully I maneuvered
How skillfully I worked
And prayed the gods as ne’er before
To not provoke the smirk

The flotilla motored crisply
Up toward the nearby dam
I breathed a silent sigh of relief
For peacefulness-Then BAM !

Another’s motor hit the fritz
It bobbled, burped and died
The helpless craft and passengers
Went southward with the tide

Oh! Woe! To see the spectacle
Of damsels in distress
Disaster’s fateful portent
Of this colossal mess

Amid the panic, screams and grief
I calmly rounded to
Came dashing to the rescue
As all great sailors do

Deftly with the heaving line
I caught the errant craft
And in the blink of an Albatross
Had tied her fore and aft

OH! Her pilot was so thankful
Her passengers fair cooed
I modestly gave others credit
So’s not to break the mood

Two working craft then nobly
Did help the one in peril
To savvy sailors such a task
Was fish shooting in a barrel

Thus the whole assemblage
Continued on its way
I tried my best to not show pride
At having saved the day

The other pilots thankful gaze
As up the tide we bore
T‘was balm for all the sufferings
I’d gotten from before

But now I am more careful
To keep in check my pride
Now that I’ve been a party
To both ends of the ride

So let this be a lesson, then
To boatmen young and old
Be gracious when it’s called for
And when the story’s told

Hold back a bit about yourself
Be modest when you can
And don’t forget what happens
When the bad stuff hits the fan

The Old Sailor says:” Good judgment comes from experience and a lot of that comes from bad judgment”.

John Brady 9/09

Check out part one of the "The Boatman's Lament" by clicking here.

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