Skip to content

‘In Waters Deep’

Eileen Mahoney’s poem was written for the 100th anniversary of the Armistice of the First World War
In Waters Deep remembers all those killed in action at sea, then buried at sea because of the exigencies of ongoing war. Photo: Unsplash

In Waters Deep

In Ocean waves no poppies blow

No crosses stand in ordered row,

Their young hearts sleep beneath the wave

The spirited, the good, and the brave

But stars a constant vigil keep.

For them who lie beneath the deep,

‘Tis true you cannot kneel in prayer

On a certain spot and think he’s there

But you can to the ocean go

See whitecaps marching row on row;

Know one for him will always ride,

In and out with every tide

And when your span of life is passed

He’ll meet you at the ‘Captain’s Mast’

And they who mourn on distant shore

For sailors who will come home no more

Can dry their tears and pray for these

Who rest beneath the heaving seas,

For stars that shine and winds that blow

And whitecaps marching row on row

And they can never lonely be,

For when they lived, they chose the sea.

© 2001 Eileen Mahoney

On the 100th anniversary of the Armistice of WW1, Eileen Mahoney’s poem In Waters Deep,

conveys the loss of so many sailors killed during the conflict.