Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A SAILOR CHANTEY (ON BARK 'PESTALLOZI' OFF TRISTAN D'ACUNHA ISLANDS), by HARRY HIBBARD KEMP



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A SAILOR CHANTEY (ON BARK 'PESTALLOZI' OFF TRISTAN D'ACUNHA ISLANDS), by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Six hearty husky lads were we, / able to cope with storm and sea
Last Line: And here we are to sea once more!
Subject(s): Sailing & Sailors; Sea Voyages; Seamen; Sails


SIX hearty husky lads were we,
Able to cope with storm and sea.
O, the deck reeled drunken beneath our feet,
And the sky and ocean seemed to meet.
Hear, landsmen meek, who thrive and wive,
We climbed up, six,—and we came down, five!
For the grim wind thro' the ratlines roared
And hurled our comrade overboard.
He fell headlong to the maniac sea,
Tumbling and grappling vacantly.
The black horizon seemed to grin,
And a high wave rose to welcome him in.
The next day, when the storm was o'er,
The sea was as smooth as a dance-hall floor ...

For days our comrade floated about,
And the sea-gulls pecked his blue eyes out;
For days he floated with eyeless stare,
And the small fish nibbled his white bones bare,—
Then he bubbled down thro' the surgeless deep
To sleep where the cuttlefish sprawl and creep.

We vowed when we reached the land, why then,
We'd never go to sea again—
But we blew in all our cash ashore,
And here we are to sea once more!





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