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World Voyage 2021/2022

“The Tracks of the Tradewinds” – Lewis R. Freeman

As we dream of setting sail again, we’re sharing this evocative poem by Lewis R. Freeman with you:

“The Tracks of the Tradewinds”

Take me back, take me back to the Tracks of the Trades!

Let me wander again in the coco palms’ shade,

Where the drums of the ocean, in pulsating roar,

Beat time for the waltz of the waves on the shore;

Where sunlight and starlight and moonlight conspire

To speed the gay hours on the Wings of Desire;

Let me clamber again through the orchid-bright glade?

Take me back, take me back to the Tracks of the Trades!

Oh, the hot flame of sunset, the tremulous light

When the afterglow fades to the velvet of night!

The star-stencilled headland in blank silhouette

Where the moonbeams are meshed in the flamboyant’s net!

Oh, the purple of midnight, the grey mists of dawn,

And the amber flood after the darkness has gone!

The slow-heaving ocean of gold-spangled jade,

When the sun wakes the day in the Tracks of the Trades!

Let my heart thrill again as the tom-tom’s dull boom

Floats out from the bush in the flower-fragrant gloom,

And the shriek of the conches, the hi-mi-ne’s swell,

Brings word of the feast in the depths of the dell.

Lead my footsteps again to that forest crypt dim,

Where firelight throws shadows on bosom and limb

Of the billowing forms of the trim tropic maids,

When the song wakes the dance in the Tracks of the Trades!

Let my hands close again on the hard-kicking wheel,

As the schooner romps off on a rollicking reel,

To the humming of back-stay and sharp-slatting sail,

And the hiss of the comber that smothers the rail.

Oh, the cadenced lament of the chorusing shroud,

As the spindrift sweeps aft in a feathery cloud!

Oh, the storm-tumbled sea-ways traversed unafraid,

As the squalls spin the spume down the Tracks of the Trades!

Take me back, take me back to the Tracks of the Trades!

For ’tis weary I am of the city’s parade,

Of the dust of the traffic, the grey cheerless skies,

And the long lines of people with spiritless eyes.

Take me back to my green sunny islands again,

Away from this treadmill of sorrow and pain,

Away from this tinsel and gilt masquerade?

Let me live, let me die in the Tracks of the Trades!

L. R. F

Pasadena, July 1920