Skull & Shackles

Port Peril

We live by the grace of the sea, and we die by her wrath.
When she gives we celebrate, and when she takes we beg forgiveness.
But we never disparage her claims, for when she gives her gift, we gain life.
When she takes from us, we know we have mistreated her.

When we sail the open sea, we are in her embrace alone,
And we long for her to rock us to sleep
Instead of breaking our bodies against the rocks
Or taking our breath to the cold depths.

Gathered, we ask the sea to take our brother into her bosom
As she has taken his life from us.
May he be blessed, and the sea as well.

—Common passage from a sailor’s funeral



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