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Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling

The North Sea Patrol

1914-18

Sea Warfare
Where the East wind is brewed fresh and fresh every morning,
  And the balmy night-breezes blow straight from the Pole,
I heard a Destroyer sing: "What an enjoya-
  ble life does one lead on the North Sea Patrol!

"To blow things to bits is our business ( and Fritz's ),
  Which means there are mine-fields wherever you stroll.
Unless you've particular wish to die quick, you'll a-
  void steering close to the North Sea Patrol.

"We warn from disaster the mercantile master
  Who takes in high Dudgeon our life-saving role,
For every one's grousing at Docking and Dowsing
  The marks and the lights on the North Sea Patrol."

          [Twelve verses omitted.]

So swept but surviving, half drowned but still driving
  I watched her head out through the swell off the shoal,
And I heard her propellers roar- "Write to poor fellers
  Who run such a Hell as the North Sea Patrol!"

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