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Mighty ships upon the ocean
Suffer from severe corrosion,
Even those that stay at dockside
Are rapidly becoming oxide.
Alas, that piling in the sea
Is mostly Fe2O3.
And where the ocean meets the shore,
You'll find there's Fe3O4.
'Cause when the wind is salt and gusty,
Things are getting awful rusty.

We can measure, we can test it,
We can halt it or arrest it.
We can gather it and weigh it.
We can coat it, we can spray it.
We examine and dissect it.
We cathodically protect it.
We can pick it up and drop it.
But heaven knows we'll never stop it!

So here's to rust, no doubt about it,
Most of us would starve without it.

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Author

T.R.B. Watson

The late T.R.B. Watson of the international Toronto-based Corrosion Service Company penned this beloved little poem, which has gone on to be quoted in numerous technical books and professional machinist and marine-engineering websites across the United States and Canada.