The Star: A Deep Sea Toast by Will Lawson

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In the dark of the dawn we heard her blow
   As you swung her and steamed away,
And we sleepily rose to watch her go --
   A ghost in the morning grey.
And it came to me there in the light so dim
   That, of all the toasts we drank,
Last night when we talked of the ships that swim
   And the tired old boats that sank --
Of all the toasts -- they were none too few! --
   The best of the lot, by far,
Would have been "The ship that carried us through!"
   And we never once toasted the "Star."

So, fill up your glasses, you sailormen,
   And we'll drink this brave toast now,
When the old ship's out on the seas again
   With the foam all white at her prow.
While her stout hull sways to the lullabies
   Of the winds that are wanderers --
Oh! never a brave hull rode the seas
   So sturdy and staunch as hers!
You'll have dropped the loom of Australia's coast,
   But you, wherever you are,
Must charge your glasses and drink this toast,
   "The ship that we love, the Star!"

She has lifted the lights of every land
   That is washed by the seven seas.
By the langorous airs of the tropics fanned --
   Or the keen, clean Arctic breeze.
She has slogged with her bluff bows head to sea
   To battle her way off shore:
When we thought we were logging our "two" or "three,"
   She added a good deal more.
And this is the toast that we all forgot
  In the glare of the lighted bar --
The worthiest toast of a worthy lot --
   "Gentlemen, drink to the Star!"

You will raise the lights on many a coasts,
   And the George-street lights will seem
A memory warm and bright at most,
   And the harbor lights a dream.
But the Coogee lamps half-mooned, that burn,
   And the Bondi lights, will be
As beacons fair when her old bows turn
   To the tides of the Tasman Sea.
We have charged our glasses to drink to her
   And to you, wherever you are --
("Eight bells and the lights burn brightly, sir!")
   Gentlemen, hush! -- "The Star!"

First published in The Australian Town and Country Journal, 16 April 1913

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on April 16, 2012 9:02 AM.

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