Old Man Schooner, where have you been?
Where will you go from here?
What harbors strange have you anchored in?
To what far port do you steer?
Was your topsail patched in Zanzibar?
Your cargo stowed in Spain?
Did the spray of the four seas drench your decks
In a stinging, salty rain?
Have your masthead lanterns dimmed to specks
In the flare of the Northern Lights?
Or strewn the water with trails of gold
Through the calm of tropic nights?
What storms has your old green hull plowed through?
Under what shifting skies
Have you grown so battered and gaunt and gray,
So salty and weatherwise?
Oh, smacks are steady, and yachts are swift,
And sloops are white and new,
But there's never a ship so fine to see,
Old Man Schooner, as you!