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posted Jan 6, 2011, 9:58 AM by Bob Mueller

When all three lights I see ahead,
I port my helm, and show my red.
Green to green, or red to red,
Perfect safety, go ahead.

If to my starboard red appear,
It is my duty to keep clear;
To act as judgment says is proper,
To port or starboard, back, or stop her.

But when upon my port is seen
A steamer’s starboard light of green,
There’s naught for me to do but see
That green to port keeps clear of me.

Both in safety and in doubt,
I always keep a good lookout;
In danger, with no room to turn,
I ease her, stop her, go astern.

–Thomas Gray, from Observations
on the Rules of the Road at Sea, 1884

This was published in the most recent edition of The Ensign, and I really liked it!