"...And what is so rare as a day in June?
Then, if ever, come perfect days."
-- Lowell, "The Vision of Sir Launfal"

The "perfect days", too soon, slip swiftly past,
Leaving not much but old men's memories--
They're all we have to cherish, at the last,
Yet no bouquets bring fragrance sweet as these.

That Youngster Cruise! Long days and nights at sea--
The tang of salt airs-- "Sweep down fore and aft!"--
The sly delights of foreign liberty--
The pitching of a clumsy landing-craft--

The silver-spangled blackness of a night
En route to Gitmo, under tropic skies--
The gulls that follow, effortless in flight--
Dawn's brilliance, almost hurtful to the eyes.

Walk back with me, along Time's corridor,
No wrinkles now, no gray and thinning hair--
A miracle! We're midshipmen once more,
Storing up treasured memories to share!

RR 6-4-07

1 comment:

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