This little poem reflects the thoughts of a man on a lightship


RMCS Ralph H Davis, Jr. [Crossed the Bar]


Nantucket Lightship Underway to Station

  • Just what drove men to serve aboard

    Those small ships which were painted red,

    With a fog horn so deep and loud,

    When sounded, would wake the dead.


    She never sailed nor even much moved,

    With her round bottom anchors out.

    Even when you were trying to talk,

    You would more likely have to shout.


    With their names painted on the hull,

    In white letters, freeboard high,

    Advising of the rocks, shoals and reefs,

    To the many vessels passing by.


    Places, such as Nantucket and Frying Pan,

    Where ships had gone aground,

    Were the locations of these boats,

    With their names of some renown.


    There never was any fame or glory,

    For those sailors of the Guard.

    On their ships that never did sail,

    Except to or from the yard.


    In fog, rain, sleet and snow,

    The beacon would flash away.

    Fueled, polished, painted and serviced,

    Tediously, day after day.


    Now that they are no more,

    It is still hard to know,

    What made the men want to serve

    Each of those tours of fourteen days or so.


    I say "Hats off" to the lightship crews,

    And prayers of thanks to all deities.

    For better it to have been them,

    Rather than it had been me.



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