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I’d rather be the ship that sails,
And rides the billows wild and free;
Than to be the ship that always fails
To leave its port and go to sea.

I’d rather feel the sting strife,
Where gales are born and tempests roar;
Than to settle down to useless life
And rot in dry dock on the shore.

I’d rather fight some mighty wave
With honor in supreme command;
And fill at last a well-earned grave,
Than die in ease upon the sand.

I’d rather drive where sea-storms blow,
And be the ship that always failed
To make the ports where it would go
Than be the ship that never sailed.

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