Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, DERELICT; A REMINISCENCE OF R.L.S.'S TREASURE ISLAND, by YOUNG EWING ALLISON



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DERELICT; A REMINISCENCE OF R.L.S.'S TREASURE ISLAND, by            
First Line: Fifteen men on the dead man's chest
Last Line: Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum!
Variant Title(s): The Dead Man's Song
Subject(s): Stevenson, Robert Louis (1850-1894)


"Fifteen men on the dead man's chest --
"Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum!
"Drink and the devil had done for the rest --
"Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum!"
The mate was fixed by the bos'n's pike,
The bos'n brained with a marlinspike
And Cookey's throat was marked belike
It had been gripped
By fingers ten;
And there they lay,
All good dead men,
Like break-o'-day in a boozing-ken --
Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum!
Fifteen men of a whole ship's list --
Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum!
Dead and be-damned and the rest gone whist! --
Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum!
The skipper lay with his nob in gore
Where the scullion's axe his cheek had shore --
And the scullion he was stabbed times four.
And there they lay
And the soggy skies
Dripped all day long
In up-staring eyes --
At murk sunset and at foul sunrise --
Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum!
Fifteen men of 'em stiff and stark --
Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum!
Ten of the crew had the Murder mark --
Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum!
'Twas a cutlass swipe, or an ounce of lead,
Or a yawing hole in a battered head --
And the scuppers glut with a rotting red.
And there they lay --
Aye, damn my eyes! --
All lookouts clapped
On paradise --
All souls bound just contrariwise --
Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum!
Fifteen men of 'em good and true --
Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum!
Every man jack could ha' sailed with Old Pew --
Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum!
There was chest on chest full of Spanish gold,
With a ton of plate in the middle hold,
And the cabins riot of stuff untold.
And they lay there
That had took the plum,
With sightless glare
And their lips struck dumb,
While we shared all by the rule of thumb --
Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum!





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