"A light upon the water",

I hear the skipper sing,

and I wrap my blanket tighter

as the wind begins to sting.

"What is this light?", I ask him,

"and what omen does it bring?"

For light can be beginning or the ending of a thing.


"It may be just a lantern",

he stated in reply,

"They release one for each sailor,

on the evening which they die."

And I shiver all the more tonight

(such thoughts can make me cry.)

And when they spy me sighing, they take care to ask me why.


It takes me time to answer,

and they fidget as I dodder.

"We are clay within the hand

of a gentle, loving potter.

I know He cares for each and all,

His faithful sons and daughters.

But nothing tears my heart out like a lantern on the water."