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[ Also see Aeronautics Boating Invention Military Navy Ocean Sailors Sea Ships Shipwreck Steam Storms Traveling Water ]

O pilot! 'tis a fearful night,
  There's danger on the deep.
      - Thomas Haynes Bayly (Bayley), The Pilot

How Bishop Aiden foretold to certain seamen a storm that would happen, and gave them some holy oil to lay it.
      - Bede "The Venerable",
        Ecclesiastical History (III, 15),
        heading of chapter

O'er the glad waters of the dark blue sea,
  Our thoughts as boundless, and our souls as free,
    Far as the breeze can bear, the billows foam,
      Survey our empire, and behold our home!
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron),
        The Corsair (canto I, st. 1)

Here's to the pilot that weathered the storm.
      - George Canning,
        The Pilot that Weathered the Storm

And as great seamen, using all their wealth
  And skills in Neptune's deep invisible paths,
    In tall ships richly built and ribbed with brass,
      To put a girdle round about the world.
      - George Chapman, Bussy d'Ambois
         (act I, sc. I, l. 20)

A wet sheet and a flowing sea,
  A wind that follows fast
    And fills the white and rustling sails,
      And bends the gallant mast!
        And bends the gallant mast, my boys,
          While, like the eagle free,
            Away the good ship flies, and leaves
              Old England in the lee.
      - Allan Cunningham,
        Songs of Scotland--A Wet Sheet and a Flowing Sea

Soon shall thy arm, unconquered steam, afar
  Drag the slow barge, or drive the rapid car;
    Or on wide waving wings expanded bear
      The flying chariot through the fields of air.
      - Erasmus Darwin, The Botanic Garden
         (pt. I, 1, 289)

For they say there's a Providence sits up aloft
  To keep watch for the life of poor Jack.
      - Charles Dibdin, Poor Jack

There's a sweet little cherub that sits up aloft,
  To keep watch for the life of poor Jack.
      - Charles Dibdin, Poor Jack

One night came on a hurricane,
  The sea was mountains rolling
    When Barney Buntline turned his quid,
      And said to Billy Bowling:
        "A strong nor-wester's blowing, Bill;
          Hark! don't ye hear it roar, now?
            Lord help 'em, how I pities them
              Unhappy folks on shore now!"
      - Charles Dibdin, The Sailor's Consolation,
        also attributed to Billy Pitt and Hood

Skill'd in the globe and sphere, he gravely stands,
  And, with his compass, measures seas and lands.
      - John Dryden, Sixth Satire of Juvenal
         (l. 760)

The winds and waves are always on the side of the ablest navigators.
      - Edward Gibbon,
        Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
         (ch. LXVIII)

Oh, I am a cook and a captain bold
  And the mate of the Nancy brig,
    And a bo'sun tight and a midshipmite
      And the crew of the captain's gig.
      - Sir William Schwenk Gilbert,
        Yarn of the "Nancy Bell"

Thus, I steer my bark, and sail
  On even keel, with gentle gale.
      - Matthew Green, Spleen (l. 814)

Though pleas'd to see the dolphins play,
  I mind my compass and my way.
      - Matthew Green, Spleen (l. 826)

What though the sea be calm? trust to the shore,
  Ships have been drown'd, where late they danc'd before.
      - Robert Herrick, Safety on the Shore

Yet the best pilots have need of mariners, besides sails, anchor and other tackle.
      - Ben Jonson,
        Discoveries--Illiteratus Princeps

-----They write here one Cornelius--Son
  Hath made the Hollanders an invisible eel
    To swim the haven at Dunkirk, and sink all
      The shipping there.
        --But how is't done?
          --I'll show you, sir.
            It is automa, runs under water
              With a snug nose, and has a nimble tail
                Made like an auger, with which tail she wriggles
                  Betwixt the costs of a ship and sinks it straight.
      - Ben Jonson, Staple of News
         (act III, sc. 1)

Some love to roam o'er the dark sea's foam,
  Where the shrill winds whistle free.
      - Charles Mackay, Some Love to Roam

Thus far we run before the wind.
      - Arthur Murphy, The Apprentice
         (act I, sc. 1, l. 344)

We have ploughed the vast ocean in a fragile bark.
  [Lat., Nos fragili vastum ligno sulcavimus aequor.]
      - Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso),
        Epistoloe Ex Ponto (I, 14, 35)

Ye gentlemen of England
  That live at home at ease,
    Ah! little do you think upon
      The dangers of the seas.
      - Martin (Martyn) Parker,
        Ye Gentlemen of England

A strong nor'wester's blowing, Bill!
  Hark! don't yet hear it roar now?
    Lord help 'em, how I pities them
      Unhappy folks on shore how!
      - William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham

And that all seas are made calme and still with oile; and therefore the Divers under the water doe spirt and sprinkle it abroad with their mouthes because it dulceth and allaieth the unpleasant nature thereof, and carrieth a light with it.
      - Pliny the Elder (Caius Plinius Secundus),
        Natural History (bk. II, ch. CIII),
        (Holland's translation)

Why does pouring Oil on the Sea make it Clear and Calm? Is it that the winds, slipping the smooth oil, have no force, nor cause any waves?
      - Plutarch, Morals--Natural Questions (XII)

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