THE MANY-MANSIONED HOUSE
AND OTHER POEMS


By
EDWARD WILLIAM THOMSON




 

BRETHREN OF THE BOAT

(UNION BOAT CLUB, BOSTON)



WHEN some of the ancient lineage prate
We brothers listen with a smile,
We do not boast ancestral state,
It really is n’t worth our while,
Since all must know that we can trace

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Our line to ages so remote
As when Pa Noah gave a place
To none but brethren of his boat.

In that old world where sin was rife,
How natural that the only man

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Found worthy of continuing life
Was one who’d lived on such a plan
That when the earth was all submerged
He knew the way to go afloat
And save—the point is once more urged—

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Our line, the Brethren of the Boat.

Since then our long immortal scroll
Has blazed with names of Men of Might,
Jason, Ulysses, on the roll
With Cæsar, and with Wallace wight;

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From age to age, on every shore,
Who raised the strong triumphant note
If not the Vikings of the Oar,
We, tuggers, Brethren of the Boat?

Who holds the keys of Heaven and Hell

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And Purgatory in his hand?
A boating man—and does it well—
St. Peter, so we understand!
Where were the first Apostles found?—
Sure, every child knows this by rote— [Page 119]

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Amongst the men whose hearts be sound,
The virtuous Brethren of the Boat.

It may be false, yet some contend
That when to other spheres men go,
The judgment of their final end

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Hangs on the question, Did he row?
But this is sure,—on us at last
Old Father Charon’s eyes will doat,
As o’er the Styx he ferries fast
His comrade Brethren of the Boat. [Page 120]

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