Man Overboard

YOUNG, the naked stoker who went
Mad with the fires and leapt to the sea,
Boyhood still in the voice that sent
One shrill cry back from eternity.
Perchance from the phosphorescent gleams
That shot through our wake of swirling foam,
On his delirious brain flashed dreams
Of a waiting mother, an English home.
The ocean clad him in cool, soft robe;
The ship fled on, as the guilty flee;
And the sun, a crimson-belted globe,
Slipped down to comfort him under the sea.

by Katharine Lee Bates

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