Alter Your Course
The night was dark as pitch
When lights appeared ahead,
The Captain called the bridge –
“Send signalmen,” he said.
“Alter your course to the south ten degrees,”
Was the message that pierced through the breeze.
The message was returned
With prompt rapidity,
But only served to rouse
The man’s acidity.
“Alter your course ten degrees to the north,”
The rejoinder that soon sounded forth.
The Captain thought his rank
Would do what words could not,
He sent the message back
Across the closing spot:
“Alter your course to the south ten degrees.
I’m a captain with rank if you please.”
The message yet again
Was met with a reply,
A rank this time attached
The Captain to defy.
“Alter your course ten degrees to the north.
This is seaman third class” and so forth.
The Captain, in a rage,
Sent one more warning out
To tell of his approach.
I heard him fairly shout:
“Alter your course to the south ten degrees
I’m a battle ship on the high seas.”
The message was once more
Returned in proper form,
To tell the battleship
He still would not conform:
“Alter your course ten degrees to the north
I’m a lighthouse of no little worth.”
So I in foolish pride
Oft call on God to change
When I can’t see ahead
The danger within range.
“I’ll alter my course, Lord, and trust You know best
Till I enter that haven of rest.”
Christina Joy Hommes