‘Twas the night before Dragonboat…

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‘Twas the night before Dragonboat, when all through the bay,
Not a paddler was stirring, not even to play.
The paddles were placed by the boats with care,
In hopes that the race soon would be there.

The athletes were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of victory danced in their heads.
And coaches in their jerseys, and I in mine too,
Had just settled our brains for a brief evening’s view.

When out on the water there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the dock to see what was the matter.
Away to the riverside, I flew like a flash,
Tripped over a life vest and made quite a crash.

The moon on the breast of the water’s flow,
Gave the luster of midday to objects below,
When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a dragonboat team, with seasoned cheer.

With a lively drummer, so animated and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be a slick trick.
More rapid than eagles, their strokes they came,
And they whistled and shouted and called them by name:

“Now, Paddler! now, Steersman! now, Drummer and Crew!
On, Stroke Seat! on, Bow Seat! on, all of you, do!
To the end of the course! to the finish line wall!
Paddle away! Paddle away! Paddle away all!”

And then, in a twinkling, I heard from the lane,
The rhythmic paddling, not in vain.
As I drew in my head and was turning around,
The dragonboat neared with a victorious sound.

And I heard them exclaim as they paddled out of sight,
“Happy Dragonboat to all, and to all a good night!”

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