A seaman in a masquerade Such as appears to me from the deep,
When o’er the line the merry vessels sweep,
And the rough saturnalia of the tar,
Flock o’er the deck in Neptune’s borrowed car,
And pleased, the god of ocean sees his name Revive once more, though but in mimic fame
Of his true sons.
MANY superstitious observances have been common, from ancient to modern days, among mariners. The ceremony, perhaps best known in our times, is that of “Crossing the Line,” celebrated when a ship crosses the terrestrial equator voyaging either north or south. This custom is a remarkable survival of an ancient practice, first begun as an actual worship of some deity, and exists today without significance other than the amusement of the sailors or passengers on board ship.