Able Seaman White (dec’d)

Able seaman Williams used to swap duty watches with able seamen White. On one of the occasions, Able Seamen White was killed. The memories of this are still with ex-able seaman Williams and still give him sad dreams and sleepless nights.

As the stars in the firmament gleam
In the arch of the sky of the night
There comes the repeated sad dream
Of a dead able seaman called White

I sat up with a jerk in the night
Saw a man that I’d seen long before
The ghost of the seaman called White
Who died by a rock pool by the shore

And he called me again by my name
Like he’d done many times here before
The same words he then said again
He had said before going ashore

“I must thank you for what you have done
Because really it does mean a lot”
He’d wanted to walk in the sun
And he just didn’t know he’d be shot

And his star in the firmament gleams
In the velvety darkness of night
For he still exists in my dreams
Does that dead able seaman called White

At long distance there through a gun’s sight
He was seen as he stood by the shore
A bullet was launched on its flight
And he felt a slight jar – nothing more

The sensation was then receding
Though all seemed like it had been before
He wondered who could be bleeding
All that blood by the pool by the shore

Now in life he had drawn the short straw
There was little more of him to tell
Red coloured the pool by the shore
As he lay where he staggered and fell

Now the stars in the firmament gleam
In the inky dark blackness of night
For he’s long sapped my self-esteem
Has that dead able seaman called White

Sun was bright as his day had grown dim
When he lay there in it’s bright light
As darkness closed in around him
And his day had been turned into night

I remember that man here before
How he fell from the shot of a gun
Right there by the pool by the shore
Where he died in the tropical sun

I remember the man of his name
Swapping duties with me just before
A gunner had taken his aim
Where I should have stood by the shore

And his star in the firmament gleams
As his ghost comes to visit at night
And he talks to me in my dreams
That forgotten dead seaman called White

Yes in life he had drawn the short straw
But his story is being retold
Red colours the pool by the shore
In the dreams of a man who’s grown old

He say’s “Thank you for what you have done
And I swear that it does mean a lot.
That I have now got me someone,
Yes – got someone – who has not forgot.”

Now the night’s long and sleepless once more
All the stars in the firmament gleam
Waves lap by the pools by the shore
When not sleeping I don’t have to dream

seamen

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