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Nov 2016
The Sea-Road to Constantinople

                 For Tod on his Birthday

A coastal lugger wallows in the waves
Almost adrift in its poor steerageway
Slow-yawing northeast from the blue Aegean
Into the soft-murmuring Marmara.
Athens is in the past, and soon, ahead,
Constantinople’s walls will catch the dawn.
Our sticks, our packs, a space upon the deck
A book of verse, a cup, a spoon, a bowl,
Some prayers the priest was pleased to copy out
For us poor pilgrims who with weary feet
Were pleased to board a northbound boat at last
And rest through sunlit days with pipes alight
And words and prayers afloat among the sails,
Among the gulls that circle ‘round the mast.
All travelers pray for their hearts’ desires
To wait for them ashore at journey’s end;
For us, ours is to serve the Emperor -
A little further, there beyond the stars.
Written by
Lawrence Hall
   avalire and ConnectHook
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