Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE SAILOR TO HIS PARROT, by WILLIAM HENRY DAVIES



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THE SAILOR TO HIS PARROT, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Thou foul-mouthed wretch! Why dost thou choose
Last Line: And you tell me to go to hell!
Alternate Author Name(s): Davies, W. H.
Subject(s): Parrots; Sea; Ocean


Thou foul-mouthed wretch! Why dost thou choose
To learn bad language, and no good;
Canst thou not say 'The Lord be praised'
As easy as 'Hell's fire and blood'?

Why didst thou call the gentle priest
A thief and a damned rogue; and tell
The deacon's wife, who came to pray,
To hold her jaw and go to hell?

Thou art a foe, no friend of mine,
For all my thoughts thou givest away;
Whate'er I say in confidence,
Thou dost in evil hours betray.

Thy mind's for ever set on bad;
I cannot mutter one small curse,
But thou dost make it endless song,
And shout it to a neighbour's house.

Aye, swear to thy delight and ours,
When here I welcome shipmates home,
And thou canst see abundant grog --
But hold thy tongue when landsmen come.

Be dumb when widow Johnson's near,
Be dumb until our wedding day;
And after that -- but not before --
She will enjoy the worst you say.

There is a time to speak and not;
When we're together, all is well;
But damn thy soul -- What! you damn mine!
And you tell me to go to hell!





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