It seems like many years have passed since summer breezes blew.
When thrushes nested in the grass and purple flowers grew.
O then the days were warm and long, the waters smooth and calm.
We launched our boats in peace and sun and rowing was like balm.
Yet comes a time most every year when winds begin to howl.
'Tis time to bolt the boathouse doors while winter's on the prowl.
There then arose a stalwart band one day came down to row.
There was no water then in sight, but only ice and snow.
Four souls it was, you may recall, their faces gnarled and grim.
They came to best the Great White Cold, as even light grew dim.
These men, the best in all the Land, their bodies lean and spare.
Testosterone coursed through their veins despite their thinning hair.
These worthies launched in winter's dread, when all about was snow.
How carefree did they shout apace, "A-rowing we will go."
Our Dave appeared upon the dock. He thundered, "We have rules!"쳌
The four replied, "Those not for us; they're only made for fools."쳌
"Avast, me lads," Dave did beseech. "Our Board says stay ashore.
Ye may not row when winter stalks lest ye be seen no more."쳌
"The rules to us do not apply. We're men of steel," quoth they.
"We care not how the tempest screams, let's go boys, all a-weigh."쳌
The storm, it blew a banshee wail, the wolf left not her den.
Their answer to the howling gale: "We are not boys, but men."쳌
They stroked into the screaming storm, the tempest's raging roar,
Then swallowed by its hungry maw, Alas were seen no more.
And so they vanished in the murk and night replaced the day.
Some say their ghostly scull still glides in some place far away.
If they returned, we know not how. No witness saw them land.
Their blood turned cold, their lips are sealed, on them, The Great White Hand.
Now come the spring, in early morn the mists not long to clear,
A glimpse, a ghastly quad-with-four, their faces mad with fear.
They've seen what mortals must not see. Now Phantoms, spectral white.
They seem to row above the waves then vanish with first light.
Come summer - and the roses bloom and daisies flood the dell.
There will be wiser ones who say, "Alas, we knew them well."쳌
The moral of this fearsome tale when winter stalks the gate:
"Abandon Hope, ye rowers all, for Winter seals thy fate."