He sat upon the rolling deck Half a world away from home, And smoked a Capstan cigarette And watched the blue waves tipped with foam. He had a mermaid on his arm, An anchor on his breast, And tattooed on his back he had A blue bird in a nest. I am God -- Without one friend, Alone in my purity World without end. Below me young lovers Tread the sweet ground -- But I am God -- I cannot come down. Spring! Life is love! Love is life only! Better to be human Than God -- and lonely.
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- by (James Mercer) Langston Hughes (1902 - 1967), "Sailor", appears in The Dream Keeper and Other Poems, first published 1932 [author's text checked 1 time against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by Frederick Piket (1903 - 1974), "Sailor", published 1948 [ SATB chorus a cappella ], from Sea Charm [sung text not yet checked]
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
This text was added to the website: 2021-01-22
Line count: 21
Word count: 95