The fog horn booms its farewell note, and proudly on her way,
The gleaming liner eases away, in grandeur down the bay.
An opulent hotel at sea, she is her owner’s pride,
The culmination of a great dream, as she floats upon the tide.
The passengers in festive mood, with laughter and good quips,
With keen delight, they look forward to, the great ship’s maiden trip.
She’s sure to break the speed record, she’ll do thirty knots or more,
Is the hope of all on board, as she leaves her native shores.
Upon the bridge roams the Captain, a Master proud and bold,
Bedecked in gorgeous raiment’s, of navy blue and gold.
All eyes are fixed upon him and its sure going to his head!
When he stops to drop the Pilot off, then rings ‘Full Speed Ahead’.
And ‘Down below’ the efforts start, for the battle with the seas,
Weary Engineers, not clad in gold, but greasy dungarees.
On deck, the scene is blithe and gay – fair ladies, song, and wine,
All hell is raging ‘Down below’, beneath the Plimsoll line.
The Chief roars out orders, to the men on watch below,
Obediently they follow his mandate, and about their tasks they go
Steam pressures must not fluctuate, nor the bearings run ‘hot’,
Cause the revs must not be allowed to drop, to make their thirty knots.
At dinner, on the first night out, the Captain proudly boasts;
“We’ll surely break the last record”, as the gallant Ship he toasts.
But making or breaking records, never puts grey hair on his head,
Cause his useful contribution had ended, when he rang ‘Full Speed Ahead’!
Through weary days and sleepless nights, to consummate this dream,
The Engineers toil incessantly, till the Light house is abeam.
The record has been broken, with thirty one point four –
The Captain sews another stripe, he’s now a ‘Commodore’!
And thus he gets the credit, for what other men have done:
He boasts to press and radio, about the record that he has won.
Neglecting even to mention, as he swings his ballyhoo,
Those tireless men, with brawn and guts, who shoved his great ship through.
The moral of this poem then, is stated quite conclusively,
That glory seldom goes to those, who actually contribute to the victory.
So keep this simple thought in mind, about any record trip,
The men behind the scenes, are those who run the ship.