Aboard at a Ship’s Helm

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by Walt Whitman.

  Aboard at a ship’s helm,
  A young steersman steering with care.

  Through fog on a sea-coast dolefully ringing,
  An ocean-bell—O a warning bell, rock’d by the waves.

  O you give good notice indeed, you bell by the sea-reefs ringing,
  Ringing, ringing, to warn the ship from its wreck-place.

  For as on the alert O steersman, you mind the loud admonition,
  The bows turn, the freighted ship tacking speeds away under her gray sails,
  The beautiful and noble ship with all her precious wealth speeds
      away gayly and safe.

  But O the ship, the immortal ship! O ship aboard the ship!
  Ship of the body, ship of the soul, voyaging, voyaging, voyaging.


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