Sea Change

"Goneys an' gullies an' all o' the birds o' the sea they ain't really birds" said Billy the Dane.  "Not mollies, nor gullies, nor goney's at all", said he, "But simply the sperrits of mariners livin' again.  Them birds goin' fishin' is nothin' but the souls o' the drowned.  Souls o' the drowned an' the kicked as are never more an' that there haughty old albatross cruisin' around, belike he's Admiral Nelson or Admiral Noah.  An' merry's the life they are living.  The settle and dip, they fishes, they never stands watches.  They waggle their wings; when a ship comes by, they fly to look at the ship to see how modern mariners manages things.  When freezing aloft is a snorter I tell you I wish  -- (though maybe it ain't Christian) -- wish I could be a haughty old copper bound albatross diping for fish and coming proud over all a' the birds of the sea."  - John Masefield [gallery]