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Thread: A seaman's prayer

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    Default A seaman's prayer

    A SEAMAN'S PRAYER

    Jesus is my pilot,
    His course is straight and true,
    He steers me from the shallows,
    From reefs and ledges too.

    He guides my every sailing,
    His kindness leads the way,
    With his hand he calms the tempest,
    And he listens when I pray.

    For his presence I am thankful,
    When awake or fast asleep,
    He returns me safe to homeland,
    From the perils of the deep.

    I stand my watch with courage,
    And await his call afar,
    For I know he'll not desert me,
    When I cross that final bar.

    Ian A. Millar

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    Default Re: A seaman's prayer

    Dear Mr. Millar,

    I read this poem last week at my father-in-law's funeral, Jacques Gury. He was a professor of English Literature at the Université de Bretagne Occidentale (Brest, France), and also Capitaine de frégate (CR) in the French Navy. He served frequently as an interpreter for official exchanges between British, American and French Navies in Brest from the 1960s to the 1990s.

    Additionally, he was an honorary vice-president of the HMS Warspite Association in the 1980s, and helped organise several visits of Warspite veterans to commemorative ceremonies in Brest.

    He passed away at the age of 88 last week, and requested that a "seaman's prayer" be read in English at his funeral. I chose this prayer because of its simple, comforting and poetic message. It was well-received by the French-speaking audience. I provided a French translation, which was read aloud following my English recitation. My husband plans to write a rhyming French translation, to honor his father's memory. I will be happy to share this when complete. Perhaps the translation will be useful to others for future bilingual occasions.

    Thank you for posting this prayer online, Mr. Millar. I gave credit to the author at the service and on the printed program.

    Best regards, Carolyn Gates

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    Default Re: A seaman's prayer

    Dear Ms. Gates: My condolences to you and your family. Thank you for your letter and response to my poem A SEAMAN'S PRAYER. I am honored that you chose to use the poem at your father-in-law's funeral. I would very much like to have a copy of the of the translation your husband is writing and a copy of the printed program for my writing file.

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