The North Sea Patrol
Sea Warfare 1914-18
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 enjoyable
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
avoid 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!"