THE SNIPES LAMENT

THE SNIPES LAMENT

NOW EACH OF US FROM TIME TO TlME. HAS GAZED UPON THE SEA,

AND WATCHED THE WARSHIPS PULLING OUT. TO KEEP THEIR COUNTRY FREE.

AND MOST OF US HAVE READ A BOOK; OR HEARD A LUSTY TALE.

ABOUT THE MEN WHO SAIL THESE SHIPS; THROUGH LIGHTING, WIND AND HAIL.

BUT THERE'S A PLACE WITHIN EACH SHIP. THAT LEGEND FAILS TO TELL
IT’S DOWN BELOW THE WATERLINE, IT TAKES A LIVING TOLL

A HEATED METAL LIVING HELL THAT SAILORS CALL 'THE HOLE".
 

IT HOUSES ENGINES RUN BY STEAM. THAT MAKES THE SHAFTS GO ROUND.

A PLACE OF FIRE AND NOISE AND HEAT. THAT BEATS YOUR SPIRITS DOWN.

WHERE BOILERS ARE THE HELLISH HEART, WITH BLOOD OF ANGRY STEAM;

THESE MOLDED GODS WITHOUT REMORSE. LIKE NIGHTMARES IN A DREAM.
 

THE ROARING FIRES POSE A THREAT LIKE LIVING LIFE IN DOUBT.

FOR AT ANY MINUTE WITHOUT SCORN, COULD ESCAPE AND CRUSH YOU OUT.

WHERE TURBINES SCREAM LIKE TORTURED SOULS, ALONE AND LOST IN HELL,

WITH ORDERS FROM SOMEWHERE ABOVE, THEY ANSWER EVERY BELL.
 

THE MEN WHO KEEP THE FIRES LIT, AND MAKE THE ENGINES RUN,

ARE STRANGERS TO THE WORLD OF LIGHT, AND RARELY SEE THE SUN.

THEY HAVE NO TIME FOR MAN OR GOD, NO TOLERANCE FOR FEAR,

THEIR ASPECT PAYS NO LIVING THING THE TRIBUTE OF A TEAR.
 

THERE'S LITTLE THAT MEN CAN DO, THAT THESE MEN HAVE NOT DONE,

BENEATH THE DECKS, DEEP IN THE HOLE, TO MAKE THE ENGINES RUN.

AND EVERY HOUR OF EVERY DAY, THEY KEEP THEIR WATCH IN HELL,

FOR IF THE FIRES EVER FAIL, THEIR SHIPS A USELESS SHELL.
 

WHEN SHIPS CONVERGE TO HAVE A WAR UPON AN ANGRY SEA,

THE MEN BELOW .JUST GRIMLY SMILE AT WHAT THEIR FATE MIGHT BE.

THEY'RE LOCKED BELOW, LIKE MEN 'FORE DOOMED, WHO HEAR NO BATTLE CRY,

IT'S WELL ASSUMED THAT IF THEY'RE HIT THE MEN BELOW WILL DIE.
 

FOR EVERY DAY'S A WAR DOWN THERE, WHEN GAUGES ALL READ RED.

SIX HUNDRED POUNDS OF HEATED STEAM, CAN KILL YOU MIGHTY DEAD.

SO IF YOU EVER WRITE THEIR SONS, OR TRY TO TELL THEIR TALE,

THE VERY WORDS SHOULD MAKE YOU HEAR A FIRED FURNACE WAIL.
 

THESE "MEN OF STEEL" THE PUBLIC NEVER GETS TO KNOW.

SO LITTLE'S HEARD ABOUT THE PLACE, THAT SAILORS CALL "THE HOLE".

BUT I CAN SING ABOUT THIS PLACE, AND TRY TO MAKE YOU SEE,

THE HARDENED LIFE OF MEN DOWN THERE, 'CAUSE ONE OF THEM IS ME.
 

I'VE SEEN THESE SWEAT SOAKED HEROS FIGHT, IN SUPERHEATED AIR.

TO KEEP THEIR SHIP ALIVE AND RIGHT, THOUGH NO ONE KNOWS THEY'RE THERE.

AND THUS THEY'LL FIGHT FOR AGES ON, 'TIL STEAMSHIPS SAIL NO MORE.

AMID THE BOILER'S MIGHTY HEAT AND TURBINE'S HELLISH ROAR.
 

SO WHEN YOU SEE A SHIP PULL OUT TO MEET A WARSHIP FOE.

REMEMBER FAINTLY, IF YOU CAN, "THE MEN WHO SAIL BELOW".

Author Unknown

Thanks to John Gauthier thenorthampton@live.com

http://www.public.navy.mil/surfor/lpd8/Pages/engineering.aspx#.Vh-a-PlViko

 

 



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