But if a yearning seizes you to roil
In stormy seamanship, when the Pleiades,
Fleeing Orion, sink in cloudy seas,
That’s when all kinds of wind blasts rage. Don’t keep
Your ship longer on the wine-dark deep,
But work the earth, and mind what I command:
Now’s when to draw your ship up on dry land,
And pile stones round to keep wet winds at bay.
Pull out its bilge-plug, that it not decay
With Zeus’s rainfall.
Stow the gear, all things
You need for sailing, make sure the wings*
Of your seaworthy ship are in good trim.
And hang the well-wrought rudder in the scrim of smoke#.
Till sailing season comes, just wait. Then drag your swift ship seawards.
Range the freight in its hold, get ready for the profit you’ll
From “Works and Days (Penguin Classics)” by Hesiod, 7th or 8th century BCE, trans A. E. Stallings.
* sails or oars. # to preserve it?
A quiet month for sailing, but we’re planning at least one autumn cruise before layup – if the wind blasts don’t rage.