Ten years older

Ten years I sailed on open seas
No land in sight for days, for weeks
No harbour or small berth be mine
A crew complaining, “Feed us wine!”

Nine years floating, open sail
Catching winds, rain hail or shine
Fed up with rent at far-gone home
Still all hands on deck bemoan

“Eight years we’ve stuck by ye mate
Without a haul of fish or find
Of women lush and gold devine”
How long’ll they last ‘till she be mine?

Seven years I’ve been in love
With fishes, crabs and what we find
At sea, deep waters will provide
But only that wh’keeps us alive

“Six years”, the call goes up from all
All maws stained raw with salt
It’s what we get so far from land
We’d give our nuts for sight o’ sand

Five years now and half the way
To where we’re goin’ unbeknownst
For when you anchored in the brine
It chills you where the sun don’t shine

Four years starboard, anchor port
Not so long with these dear fellows
Last year just came and went
And not one complaint, nor lament

Three years down and hard at sail
Strong winds blowing in our sheets
“Up the mast you gastly mule!”
Seven more, ain’t I a fool

Two years gone on hardwood decks
My land feet sunk and gone
Merry fools and drunken louts
Is all I have for crew here ‘bouts

“One year only” is what I said
I’ll be gone and be right back
A measured plan, a nautical mile
To be back here within that smile

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