By John Masefield
Quinquireme of Nineveh from distant Ophir,
Rowing home to haven in sunny Palestine,
With a cargo of ivory.
And apes and peacocks,
Sandalwood, cedarwood, and sweet white wine.
Stately Spanish galleon coming from the Isthmus,
Dipping through the Tropics by the palm-green shores,
With a cargo of diamonds,
Topazes, and cinnamon, and gold moidores.
Dirty British coaster with a salt-caked smoke-stack,
Butting through the Channel in the mad March days,
With a cargo of Tyne coal,
Firewood, iron-ware, and cheap tin trays.
I was sitting in my car Tuesday evening, waiting for class time, when this train went by in front of me. As I took pictures, this poem of Masefield's came to mind.
My fondness for Masefield's poetry marks me as hopelessly old-fashioned. (I first met him when young and impressionable and reading my mother's college textbooks from the Thirties.) But what a word lover he is! And I'm a sucker for a good beat.