Such as in Ships

Brazilian Sketches, 1927




SUCH as in Ships and brittle Barks
Into the Seas descend
Shall learn how wholly on those Arks
Our Victuals do depend.
For, when a Man would bite or sup,
Or buy him Goods or Gear,
He needs must call the Oceans up,
And move an Hemisphere.

Consider, now, that Indian Weed
Which groweth o’er the Main,
With Teas and Cottons for our Need,
And Sugar of the Cane—
Their Comings We no more regard
Than daily Corn or Oil:
Yet, when Men waft Them Englandward,
How infinite the Toil!

Nation and People harvesteth
The tropique Lands among,
And Engines of tumultuous Breath
Do draw the Yield along—
Yea, even as by Hecatombs
Which, presently struck down
Into our Navies’ labouring Wombs
Make Pennyworths in Town.