The Ships That Won't Go Down

Henry Lawson, 1898

      We hear a great commotion
             'Bout the ship that comes to grief,
      That founders in mid-ocean,
             Or is driven on a reef;
      Because it's cheap and brittle
             A score of sinners drown.
      But we hear but mighty little
             Of the ships that won't go down.

             Here's honour to the builders —
             The builders of the past;
             Here's honour to the builders
             That builded ships to last;
             Here's honour to the captain,
             And honour to the crew;
             Here's double-column head-lines
             To the ships that battle through.

      They make a great sensation
             About famous men that fail,
      That sink a world of chances
             In the city morgue or gaol,
      Who drink, or blow their brains out,
             Because of 'Fortune's frown.'
      But we hear far too little
             Of the men who won't go down.

             The world is full of trouble,
             And the world is full of wrong,
             But the heart of man is noble,
             And the heart of man is strong!
             They say the sea sings dirges,
             But I would say to you
             That the wild wave's song's a paean
             For the men that battle through.