Some Sea Poems

Three of the best …

Crossing the Bar

by Alfred Lord Tennyson

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhNHn88zLI4&NR=1

Ably explained in this series of lectures, a "bar" is a submarine dune and the currents running over it are the most dangerous storms a traveller can meet.

It may surprise you to realise Tennyson's grasp of the physics involved but in his day the only shipping safety regulations were the Plimsole Line and lighthouses. There were no mandatory Life Boats on board and even life jackets were rudimentary cork vests that few had and would as easily drown you as save you.

Every day somewhere in Great Britain or the Empire, there was news of a drowning. Small boats HAD to go out to sea, not necessarily very far, to make a living every day. Once out, they couldn't stay out the way trawlers can these days.

Large ships, relying only on sail, once committed, had to push on to anchorage. In the days of sail you could only ride out a sea in safe places called "roads" the equivalent of a motoring "lay-by" or "hard shoulder" these days.

If you hit trouble on the way into a river mouth, with no engine and precious little steering, there was nothing you could do.

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9 thoughts on “Some Sea Poems

  1. Sea Feverby John MasefieldI must go down to the sea again to the lonely sea and the skyAnd all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her byAnd the wheel's kickAnd the wind's songAnd the white sail's shakingAnd a grey mist on the sea's faceAnd a grey dawn breaking.I must go down to the sea againFor the call of the running tide is a wild call and a clear call that may not be deniedAnd all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flyingAnd the flung sprayAnd the blown spumeAnd the sea-gulls crying.I must go down to the sea again to the vagrant gypsy lifeTo the gull's wayAnd the whale's wayWhere the wind's like a whetted knifeAnd all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-roverAnd quiet sleepAnd a sweet dream when the long trick's over.Bullshit of course. He went to sea but was sea sick. He went ashore and had to get home after suffering sunstroke in a time when that was a serious affair.But it is a brilliant poem and just because a man can't make it afloat, it doesn't mean he hasn't got that desire for it.I only ever lived beside the sea but I have the love of it too. I just liked the storms and miss the atmosphere.You don't have to waste your time in a steel tunnel banging your head and sliding down stairwells and hating the sweaty walls about you, to appreciate the sea.

  2. Mandalayby Rudyard KiplingBy the old Moulmein Pagoda, lookin' lazy at the sea,There's a Burma girl a-settin', and I know she thinks o' me;For the wind is in the palm-trees, and the temple-bells they say:"Come you back, you British soldier; come you back to Mandalay!"Come you back to Mandalay,Where the old Flotilla lay:Can't you 'ear their paddles chunkin' from Rangoon to Mandalay?On the road to Mandalay,Where the flyin'-fishes play,An' the dawn comes up like thunderOuter China'Crost the Bay!'Er petticoat was yaller an' 'er little cap was green,An' 'er name was Supi-yaw-lat — jes' the same as Theebaw's Queen,An' I seed her first a-smokin' of a whackin' white cheroot,An' a-wastin' Christian kisses on an 'eathen idol's foot:Bloomin' idol made o'mud –Wot they called the Great Gawd Budd –Plucky lot she cared for idols when I kissed 'er where she stud!On the road to Mandalay,Where the flyin'-fishes play,An' the dawn comes up like thunderOuter China'Crost the Bay!When the mist was on the rice-fields an' the sun was droppin' slow,She'd git 'er little banjo an' she'd sing "Kulla-lo-lo!"With 'er arm upon my shoulder an' 'er cheek agin' my cheekWe useter watch the steamers an' the hathis pilin' teak.Elephints a-pilin' teakIn the sludgy, squdgy creek,Where the silence 'ung that 'eavy you was 'arf afraid to speak!On the road to Mandalay,Where the flyin'-fishes play,An' the dawn comes up like thunderOuter China'Crost the Bay!But that's all shove be'ind me — long ago an' fur away,An' there ain't no 'busses runnin' from the Bank to Mandalay;An' I'm learnin' 'ere in London what the ten-year soldier tells:"If you've 'eard the East a-callin', you won't never 'eed naught else."No! you won't 'eed nothin' elseBut them spicy garlic smells,An' the sunshine an' the palm-trees an' the tinkly temple-bells;On the road to Mandalay,Where the flyin'-fishes play,An' the dawn comes up like thunderOuter China'Crost the Bay!I am sick o' wastin' leather on these gritty pavin'-stones,An' the blasted English drizzle wakes the fever in my bones;Tho' I walks with fifty 'ousemaids outer Chelsea to the Strand,An' they talks a lot o' lovin', but wot do they understand?Beefy face an' grubby 'and –Law! wot do they understand?I've a neater, sweeter maiden in a cleaner, greener land!On the road to Mandalay,Where the flyin'-fishes play,An' the dawn comes up like thunderOuter China'Crost the Bay!Ship me somewheres east of Suez, where the best is like the worst,Where there aren't no Ten Commandments an' a man can raise a thirst;For the temple-bells are callin', an' it's there that I would be –By the old Moulmein Pagoda, looking lazy at the sea;On the road to Mandalay,Where the old Flotilla lay,With our sick beneath the awnings when we went to Mandalay!On the road to Mandalay,Where the flyin'-fishes play,An' the dawn comes up like thunderOuter China'Crost the Bay!Another one that is entirely romanticised for he never went back to stay though he was free to go and rich enough to visit.What they have in common is the ability to incite a longing for the past. And you can't go back to that. If you try, it will hurt you.

  3. I picked up a book in the library the other day. I forget the title, something about scrap book.In the days before TV, theatre was a music hall for most and a radio was a luxury. What children did for entertainment when not playing physical games or listening to grandparent's stories was collect pictures out of newspapers and journals.In the late 1920's, colour printing was becoming widely available. And with a pot of flour paste, a pair of scissors and a cheap paper blank "book" the family could be kept quiet for a few hours the way placing them in front of a TV and letting them watch cartoons does these days.Well that is what the layout of he book is like.But what the author has done is arrange all the commercials from the period between the "wars" in order.And what he achieved is called nostalgia. Not that I am that old but I recall a time when the world WAS different.We treated its resources with a completely different attitude. And we didn't appear afraid of new things or foreigners (apparently.)A steam ship was all the more admirable if it had a lot of funnels, cars were nor vicious instruments for sex maniacs but oh…waitOK cars are the same still.But…Well I enjoyed it.

  4. Originally posted by Weatherlawyer:

    Large ships, relying only on sail, once committed, had to push on to anchorage. In the days of sail you could only ride out a sea in safe places called "roads" the equivalent of a motoring "lay-by" or "hard shoulder" these days.

    Let me try to explain a few English terms.Most roads in Britain were not the maintained ones we got from the Romans or the modern highways departments of Britain's county councils.They were scored out of the land (public land, not fenced off by farmers and lords of the manor (originally royalty then the nouveau riche.))Originally called common land it was for anyone to use in passing and farmers and drovers made the tracks with the livestock the bought and sold at market. Eventually these tracks became semi maintained where there was a danger to the animals. And eventually they became the King's High Ways.They were just narrow tracks following the best routes for livestock and they would have set aside pastures for long distance travellers, someone taking a cart to a large city several miles away perhaps.Eventually when large cities became unable to supply their needs locally and were too far inland for ships to reach them with fresh produce, farmers co-operated with each other to provide drovers to take herds to market.These herds could be sheep or cattle but were just as likely to be geese and hens. Well, perhaps not hens. But geese certainly. And they can't walk far in a day. So they camped on the roadside each night out in "lay byes".Lay byes eventually became incorporated into the national road network as passing places for pedestrians when a carriage or post chaise was coming through.Then stopping places for slower vehicles and horse drawn carts or overheating cars in the early days of motoring. (Only very recently was overheating not a problem on the hilly roads entering and leaving North Wales -where I am from. And even now there are still such places filled with sand to trap runaway lorries.)These days they are the Hard Shoulders of motorways. Extra lanes built into high speed trunk roads where ordinary traffic is banned and emergency services can get through.Roads in shipping lanes refers to seas that have no strong currents and are protected from the prevalent winds in storms by large blocks of land. These are usually good potential ports only they have no large rivers.I haven't researched the matter but an educated guess points to a spelling error from the days before spelling, when all the counties in Britain had their own dialects. (Sometimes their own languages -as some still do.)A sailor might tell a partner where his ship laid off and "rode" out a storm. These would become known by their nearest landmark as "so and so roads". Nothing to do with the common understanding of the term "roads" these days.Or not as the case may be.

  5. More on rodes:The Royal Charter storm was a famous storm in the lat 18th century. It hit the whole country and western Europe badly, killing thousands I believe.What remains today of it is the story of the wreck of the Royal Charter and the saving of some of the passengers. Almost.It's a gripping sailor's yarn. A Portuguese crewman (the only one on board who could swim as in those days there were no public baths and trips to the beach were not a national pass-time but a frenzied and dangerous career for the poor (that is everyone who lived near the sea and wasn't rich.)He volunteered to get ashore with a line and saved about 11 people, IIRC. What makes the story famous was nothing to do with a damned dago foreigner getting all the glory (who the hell remembers him for god's sake?)It was that the ship was loaded with gold pilfered from the "Abos" in Australia.The Royal Charter was one of the earliest sailers fitted with an engine for crossing the Doldrums.It foundered on the rocks of Moelfre, a tiny fishing village at the northern end of Abergele Roads. The captain almost made it.But he just as easily might have pulled into Holyhead, a large and prosperous port on the northern tip of Wales or Amlwch an even better port but a little more difficult to navigate.He got a few miles further than Amlwch, right to the middle of Anglesey's lee coast. He should have been safe. But the storm followed him in.He has been castigated for his actions but the Wikipedia shows the storm was only a gale at the time. No self respecting captain in charge of one of the empire's finest ships would put into port or lay off on a lea coast during a mere gale on his ship's maiden voyage.That would have been ridiculous.In fact a gale would be even better than good weather for the captain and the owners, as it would drop the time of travel to and from Australia (a major feat of endurance in those days) down to something really exceptional. He must have thought he was going to set a record that it would take a new ship to break.And there was no such ship being laid, not would there be for years that wasn't just a sister to the Royal Charter.That storm must have seemed a godsend to make his career and name.480 died from that ship, a record that stood until the Great War. A further 300 and some died elsewhere around Britain; as many as usually died in an average year for those that went "to the sea in small boats" in Britain in those days "and know not whereof there salvation cometh."

  6. One more before I go. I was looking for the biblical verse that was trying to quote in the last line of the previous comment and found this:Psalm 107bt god.O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy; And gathered them out of the lands, from the east, and from the west, from the north, and from the south. They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way; they found no city to dwell in. Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them. Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses. And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation. Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness. Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron; Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsel of the most High: Therefore he brought down their heart with labour; they fell down, and there was none to help. Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder. Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he hath broken the gates of brass, and cut the bars of iron in sunder. Fools because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted. Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat; and they draw near unto the gates of death. Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses. He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions. Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing. They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; These see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep. For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit's end. Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven. Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! Let them exalt him also in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders. He turneth rivers into a wilderness, and the watersprings into dry ground; A fruitful land into barrenness, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein. He turneth the wilderness into a standing water, and dry ground into watersprings. And there he maketh the hungry to dwell, that they may prepare a city for habitation; And sow the fields, and plant vineyards, which may yield fruits of increase. He blesseth them also, so that they are multiplied greatly; and suffereth not their cattle to decrease. Again, they are minished and brought low through oppression, affliction, and sorrow. He poureth contempt upon princes, and causeth them to wander in the wilderness, where there is no way. Yet setteth he the poor on high from affliction, and maketh him families like a flock. The righteous shall see it, and rejoice: and all iniquity shall stop her mouth. Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the loving kindness of the LORD.This poem actually answers something I wrote about in other threads about acts of god. It discusses what would to an educated man seem to be good cause to disbelieve there is a god.The god whom it is alleged inspired the writer (anonymous) is not anonymous. He is called Jehovah and of course he is not a male but an androgynous entity only describable as "not a creature". (Or a plank. Hardly a scientific description I admit but…)The term "he" is used not as a mark of respect but in reference to his political mastery. Man owns planet earth and everything he does, it does. So it is with Jehovah or Yahweh. (The name is a Jewish term: HWYH. Because of tradition we don't really know how it is pronounced and following the example of TE Lawrence's experience in Arabia, names vary so much regionally that their pronunciation is immaterial.)Having got all that out of the way, back to the story:When we hear stories of terrible events those of us in the shadows might say it was an act of god or some such thing. Not meaning that god did it but that such things just happen the way shit happens.But it doesn't. David Attenborough, the famous natural history presenter for the BBC, rejects any beliefs in any god or gods because of the terible things that animals (and presumably humans) do/And fair play, it is fair comment. But as with the writer of the psalm above and the people involved in the calamities mentioned; you are still left with the problem of explaining "life, the universe and everything.There are no atheists in the trenches. And afterwards we forget and re-analyse things to suit us.As it happens, late in the bible one writer claims that the whole of creation is crying out for salvation or completion. You see why when you read the beginning again:And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.Apparently the explanation goes that before the subjection, man itself became subverted and caused the extension of Eden to cease. After the flood for the first time, meat is considered food. Though apparantly animals had been used for sacrifice based on the description of those considered clean.I always imagined the term "clean" to mean those considered edible.It's a puzzle isn't it?One thing of this thread remains:Those that cross the bar, have to return to it later. And if they fail to make a successful crossing, it ain't the fault of any god or gods.

  7. One more before I go. I was looking for the biblical verse that was trying to quote in the last line of the previous comment and found this:Psalm 107bt god.O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy; And gathered them out of the lands, from the east, and from the west, from the north, and from the south. They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way; they found no city to dwell in. Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them. Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses. And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation. Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness. Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron; Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsel of the most High: Therefore he brought down their heart with labour; they fell down, and there was none to help. Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder. Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he hath broken the gates of brass, and cut the bars of iron in sunder. Fools because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted. Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat; and they draw near unto the gates of death. Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses. He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions. Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing. They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; These see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep. For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit's end. Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven. Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! Let them exalt him also in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders. He turneth rivers into a wilderness, and the watersprings into dry ground; A fruitful land into barrenness, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein. He turneth the wilderness into a standing water, and dry ground into watersprings. And there he maketh the hungry to dwell, that they may prepare a city for habitation; And sow the fields, and plant vineyards, which may yield fruits of increase. He blesseth them also, so that they are multiplied greatly; and suffereth not their cattle to decrease. Again, they are minished and brought low through oppression, affliction, and sorrow. He poureth contempt upon princes, and causeth them to wander in the wilderness, where there is no way. Yet setteth he the poor on high from affliction, and maketh him families like a flock. The righteous shall see it, and rejoice: and all iniquity shall stop her mouth. Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the loving kindness of the LORD.This poem actually answers something I wrote about in other threads about acts of god. It discusses what would to an educated man seem to be good cause to disbelieve there is a god.The god whom it is alleged inspired the writer (anonymous) is not anonymous. He is called Jehovah and of course he is not a male but an androgynous entity only describable as "not a creature". (Or a plank. Hardly a scientific description I admit but…)The term "he" is used not as a mark of respect but in reference to his political mastery. Man owns planet earth and everything he does, it does. So it is with Jehovah or Yahweh. (The name is a Jewish term: HWYH. Because of tradition we don't really know how it is pronounced and following the example of TE Lawrence's experience in Arabia, names vary so much regionally that their pronunciation is immaterial.)Having got all that out of the way, back to the story:When we hear stories of terrible events those of us in the shadows might say it was an act of god or some such thing. Not meaning that god did it but that such things just happen the way shit happens.But it doesn't. David Attenborough, the famous natural history presenter for the BBC, rejects any beliefs in any god or gods because of the terible things that animals (and presumably humans) do/And fair play, it is fair comment. But as with the writer of the psalm above and the people involved in the calamities mentioned; you are still left with the problem of explaining "life, the universe and everything.There are no atheists in the trenches. And afterwards we forget and re-analyse things to suit us.As it happens, late in the bible one writer claims that the whole of creation is crying out for salvation or completion. You see why when you read the beginning again:And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.Apparently the explanation goes that before the subjection, man itself became subverted and caused the extension of Eden to cease. After the flood for the first time, meat is considered food. Though apparantly animals had been used for sacrifice based on the description of those considered clean.I always imagined the term "clean" to mean those considered edible.It's a puzzle isn't it?One thing of this thread remains:Those that cross the bar, have to return to it later. And if they fail to make a successful crossing, it ain't the fault of any god or gods.

  8. One more before I go.I was looking for the biblical verse that was trying to quote in the last line of the previous comment and found this:Psalm 107bygod.O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. note the term god can refer to any deity convention in some countries is that God with a Capital G means Jehovah or YahwehLet the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy; And gathered them out of the lands, from the east, and from the west, from the north, and from the south. They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way; they found no city to dwell in. Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them. Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses. And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation. Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness. Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron; Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsel of the most High: Therefore he brought down their heart with labour; they fell down, and there was none to help. Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder. Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he hath broken the gates of brass, and cut the bars of iron in sunder. Fools because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted. Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat; and they draw near unto the gates of death. Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses. He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions. Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing. They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; These see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep. For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit's end. Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven. Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! Let them exalt him also in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders. He turneth rivers into a wilderness, and the watersprings into dry ground; A fruitful land into barrenness, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein. He turneth the wilderness into a standing water, and dry ground into watersprings. And there he maketh the hungry to dwell, that they may prepare a city for habitation; And sow the fields, and plant vineyards, which may yield fruits of increase. He blesseth them also, so that they are multiplied greatly; and suffereth not their cattle to decrease. Again, they are minished and brought low through oppression, affliction, and sorrow. He poureth contempt upon princes, and causeth them to wander in the wilderness, where there is no way. Yet setteth he the poor on high from affliction, and maketh him families like a flock. The righteous shall see it, and rejoice: and all iniquity shall stop her mouth. Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the loving kindness of the LORD.This poem actually answers something I wrote about in other threads about acts of god. It discusses what would (to an educated man) seem to be good cause to disbelieve there is a god.The god whom it is alleged inspired the writer (anonymous) is not anonymous. He is called Jehovah and of course he is not a male but an androgynous entity only describable as "not a creature". (Or a plank or a teapot. Hardly a scientific description I admit but…)The term "he" is used not as a mark of respect but in reference to his political mastery. Man owns planet earth and everything he does, it does. So it is with Jehovah or Yahweh. (The name is a Jewish term: HWYH. Because of tradition we don't really know how it is pronounced and following the example of TE Lawrence's experience in Arabia, names vary so much regionally that their pronunciation is immaterial.)Having got all that out of the way, back to the story:When we hear stories of terrible events, those of us in the shadows might say it was an act of god or some such thing. Not meaning that god did it but that such things just happen the way shit happens.But it doesn't.David Attenborough, the famous natural history presenter for the BBC, rejects any beliefs in any god or gods because of the terrible things that animals (and presumably humans) do.And fair play, it is fair comment. But as with the writer of the psalm above and the people involved in the calamities mentioned; you are still left with the problem of explaining "life, the universe and everything".There are no atheists in the trenches. And afterwards we forget and re-analyse things to suit us.As it happens, late in the bible one writer claims that the whole of creation is crying out for salvation or completion. You see why when you read the beginning again:[quote-Moses]And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.[/quote]Apparently the explanation goes that before the subjection was complete, man itself became subverted and caused the extension of Eden to cease. After the flood for the first time, meat is considered food. Though apparently animals had been used for sacrifice based on the description of those considered clean.I always imagined the term "clean" to mean those considered edible.It's a puzzle isn't it?One thing of this thread remains:Those that cross the bar, have to return to it later. And if they fail to make a successful crossing, it ain't the fault of any god or gods.Swelp me god!

  9. Well that was a load of old cobblers. And tent maker.here's something probably a lot younger: Blow the wind southerly, southerly, southerly Blow the wind southerly o'er blue sea They told me last night there were sheets in the offing, And I hurried down to the deep rolling sea; But eye could not see it, wherever might be it, The bark that is bearing my lover to me. Blow the wind southerly, southerly, southerly Blow the wind southerly o'er blue sea Oh, is it not sweet to hear the breeze singing, As lightly it comes o'er the deep rolling sea? But sweeter and dearer by far when 'tis bringing, The bark of my true love in safety to me.I'm sure there are more verses to this if it is a sea shanty.

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