The Shantyman

It is good to toil
With the men I know;
And to trim the trees
And to lay them low;
And to haul their bulk
To the stream below;
I am glad that the Lord sent me here.

And from time to time
When the mood is right,
In the vaulted wood
With its dappled light;
Where the blue-jay’s flash
Quickens shrill and bright;
I can sense that the Lord meets me here.

There’s a constant strain
From the whistle call;
As we scale the heights
Making giants fall;
And we swing our steel
And our chain and maul.
And I know that the men test me here.

But the dusk does come,
And the campfires burn;
And the grub is good,
And our thoughts will turn
To the ones at home,
And for those we yearn;
But for weeks we must still labour here.

Yet another time
The alarm will sound;
That a trunk has split;
That a man is downed.
And like mother birds
We all gather ‘round.
And I sense they are glad I am here.

Then the Sabbath day
Brings some extra rest;
And a few will come,
And by that I’m blessed;
And we search the Book,
And I share Christ’s best;
For the Lord of the harvest is here.

Oh shantymen sing!
In the golden field;
In the fishing hull;
In the mineshaft’s yield;
In the factory’s pulse;
Sing of grace revealed;
And the joy of the Lord finds us here.

Note: Canada recalls many work situations in which humble servants of the Gospel got into the workplace, rubbed shoulders, earned trust and simply prayed and helped.


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