Poetry - Clarence Goodland



The Sealer's Life
'Tis the vernal time of the equinox, And the March wind gusty blows, That the sealer stands with his blood-red hands 'Mid the carnage he's wrought on the floes; And the whelps cry out when they see the gaff Then their white coats turn to red With their own life's blood as their throats are cut, For the heaps on heaps of the dead. The brave flags fly from the pans piled high With the pelts of the obese harp, And the stout men stand with their gaffs in hand Their coats show the tow rope's mark: They gaily laugh in a happy mood Like boys round a parrot's cage, As they race to face the fierce doghood When his cap is blown with rage. The growl of the bergs in their majesty, And the grandeur of their might Makes the bravest quail as the towering mounts Look weird in the pale moonlight. While the crunch of the ice as the vessel plows Like a warhorse on her way, While she takes in her hold the fatty gold, The Spoils of the murderous day. 'Tis the Sealer's Life, and he Loves it too, The fatback pork and duff, They Scarce complain with care or pain, Though the ways of the life are rough: With a chunk of seal all goes well, Or a flipper in gravy brown, They'll work like a Lark from morn till dark And take it all as a good day's round. When they homeward roll through the fog and snow With a bumper trip within, They're happy as Birds if they pay for their Crops With a balance for their Kin. They ne'er have a care, they know not fear, Though there are dangers many and grave; 'Tis a Sealer's Life on the frozen main 'Tis his home the icy wave.


Clarence Goodland (1910-1980) Maberly/Elliston Resident


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