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An Old Seaman's Song

by Anon

Life is a river and man is the boat
That over its surface is destined to float
And joy is the cargo so easily stored
That he is a fool that takes trouble on board
We all have our taste of the ups and the downs
As fortune dispenses her smiles and her frowns
O, may we not hope of its frowning today
That tomorrow she'll lend us the light of her ray

I would not that man without caution should steer
Through the quick-sands , the rocks that encircle us here
Be honour his compass, the magnet his breast
Let him stand to truth's cause to fate leave the rest
There is plenty of sunshine, then why choose the shade?
Half of the trouble that comes o'er us our own fears have made
Then go right ahead, there's joys smiling ray
Why run from ones course to meet trouble half-way

Would summer be praised for its fruit and flowers
If winter ne'er followed with storms, wind and showers?
And does not the brightest of pleasures appear
Still brighter when chequered with moments of care
I ask not for gold, are there pleasures in wealth
So dear to the heart as contentment and health?
Oh give me but these that can add to my store
Without these, though riches are mine, I am poor.