Monday, October 12, 2009

My Last Cigar A Poem

My Last Cigar

‘Twas off the blue Canary Isles, a glorious summer day,
I sat upon the quarter deck and wiff’d my cares away
And as the volumed smoke arose, like incense in the air,
I breath’d a sigh to think in sooth, it was my last cigar

I lean’d against the quarter rail, and look’d down in the sea,
E’en there the purple wreath of smoke was curling gracefully;
Oh, what had I at such a time to do with wasting care?
Alas the trembling tear proclaim’d it was my last cigar.

I watch’d the ashes, as it came fast drawing t’ward the end,
I watch’d it as a friend would watch beside a dying friend;
But still the flame crept slowly on, it vanish’d into air,
I threw it from me – spare the tale – it was my last cigar.

I’ve seen the land of all I love fade in the distance dim,
I’ve watch’d above the blighted heart where once proud hope hath been;
But I’ve never known a sorrow that could with that compare,
When off the blue Canary Isles I smoked my last cigar.

This poem was composed by a U.S. naval officer on duty off the coast of west Africa before the Civil War, when the United States Navy guarded against illegal slave traders.