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The Ways of Many Waters (Text)

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Brady, E. J. (Edwin James) (1869-1952)
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University of Sydney Library
The Ways of Many Waters
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			 The Ways of Many Waters 
		  E. J. Brady  
			 Sydney; London 
			 Thomas C. Lothian; The Walter Scott Publishing Co. 

   Author's Acknowledgment. 
  The greater number of these verses have appeared in  THE BULLETIN  during a period extending from 1891 to recent dates. Numbers XXV., XXVI., XXXI., XXXIV., were originally printed in  THE SUNDAY TIMES,  Sydney . 
  31st March, 1899 . 
  The Ways of Many Waters 
   I. The Ways of Many Waters. 
  BECAUSE of a painted Fancy 
 That is neither old nor new. 
 The path of the further distance 
 It seemeth for aye more true: 
 For this have the Dreamers wandered 
 Forlorn, on a golden quest, 
 Their sails in the sunset dipping 
 Aslant to the reddened West:  
  For this have the Rovers journeyed, 
 Subtle and strange though it seem, 
 Spelled by the shade of a shadow, 
 Lured by the loot of a dream. 
 And so doth the Great Fleet gather, 
 The fleet of a thousand sail, 
 With a long-oared galley leading 
 And a liner at the tail.  
  They sweep with a song from Sidon, 
 The song of an old desire, 
 They come with a crash of trumpets 
 Out from the quays of Tyre; 
 Along on the open waters 
 Will their leaping galleys line, 
 To trade with our tattooed fathers 
 The trinkets of Palestine.  
  Evoe! and a cup to Bacchus 
 The Lycian seaman pours, 
 Then kisses his dark-haired Phryne 
 And springs to the straining oars … 
 Hard down, by the mole at Pharos, 
 The Rhodian ketos bides 
 The hour of the sacred augur, 
 The time of the wheeling tides.  
  They swing from their yellow Tiber 
 Into the laughing seas. 
 With gifts to the gods in passing 
 The Pillars of Hercules; 
 The gleam of imperial purple 
 On imperial ocean falls, 
 The flag of the legion flutters, 
 The stern centurion calls.  
  Now, loud is the shout of wassail, 
 And the Northern eagle shrieks, 
 As the Viking's men come crowding 
 Out from the bays and the creeks— 
 Sons of the snows and the forests, 
 High in the forehead and bold. 
 Strong, with the love of strong women, 
 Sturdy to take and to hold …  
  They glide, with a chant of lovers, 
 Into the sleeping lagune— 
 The sails of the great Doge, gleaming 
 Silver and silk in the moon; 
 While far in the East she glimmers 
 On Indian argosies 
 That bear to the sun's red rising 
 The trade of the Genoese …  
  But now 't is a rowdy rabble 
 That chatters on Palos pier, 
 As up from the Unknown Ocean 
 A torn sail rises clear, 
 And a calm World-finder cometh— 
 Not as the Conquerors came, 
 Loud, with the blazon of pennons, 
 Clamoring favour of Fame …  
  And lo, from an English harbour, 
 In his jerkin brown a rose, 
 With a broad sword in his scabbard, 
 The sturdy John Cabot goes: 
 Westward and westward forever, 
 But ever of stout intent 
 To claim for his burly monarch 
 Fair share of a Continent.  
  And now 't is a white-haired Spaniard 
 Seeking, in travail and ruth, 
 The place of the fabled waters, 
 The fount of enduring youth; 
 The gallants of gay De Soto 
 Bear out on the seas again, 
 And Cortes, with banners trailing, 
 Heels down for the Western main.  
  The shout of Balboa echoes 
 Across the Pacific waste, 
 And free from St. Malo harbor 
 Brave Cartier wears in haste: 
 The sun on their mail to glisten, 
 The sun on their swords to glance, 
 A kiss for the mistress weeping, 
 Then, hey for the lilies of France!  
  They waddle away together, 
 Round-bellied, from Rotterdam, 
 To trade in the Eastern Islands. 
 Or barter in Surinam; 
 Or far to the South'ard creeping 
 With their courage strained and worn, 
 They steal from the mystic harbours 
 Of a lone new land forlorn.  
  Now low on the Southern oceans 
 The gleam of their lonely sails, 
 Where Tasman undaunted has weathered 
 The Cape of a Thousand Gales; 
 Where Hartog is boldly sailing 
 Into Australian seas, 
 One eye on the chance of plunder, 
 And one on the Portuguese.  
  They dart from the nooks and crannies 
 White eagles athirst for prey, 
 Room for a little adventure, 
 And plenty of room to play; 
 With letters of marque that cover 
 A slip, if it endeth so, 
 Then back to their friendly harbour 
 Full tilt, with the prize in tow.  
  They stand with their port-fires lighted 
 To rake them over and through, 
 For the sake of their golden ingots 
 And the sake of derring-do; 
 They riddle their timbers gaily, 
 And up on their high decks spring,— 
 With cheers for the English lasses, 
 And thrusts for the English King.  
  They reel, with a drunken chanty, 
 Loading their swivels amain, 
 Be-ribanded robbers cheering 
 The black flag up to the main; 
 The pick of their ocean plunder, 
 The loot of a half-score loads, 
 To scatter among the ladies— 
 Of pleasure—in Whydah Roads.  
  And a low black hull still crosses 
 The face o' the moon away, 
 And again the night re-echoes 
 The shout of the turbaned Dey; 
 And the night-wind moans and shivers, 
 But the Dago seaman swears 
 ‘T is a ghostly Rover, chiding 
 His Barbary corsairs!  
  The Company's fleet is booming 
 Along on the Sou'-East trade, 
 And the braw East India clipper 
 On her outward course is laid; 
 She cheers to the rolling troopship 
 That buckles into the gale, 
 A reef in her straining topsails, 
 The red rag over the rail.  
  They dip from the docks of Lunnon, 
 And out of Cork Harbour go, 
 The immigrant tubs full listed— 
 “God bless ye!” and “South'ard-ho!” 
 Aye, South'ard and South'ard ever, 
 The gallant old ships of teak, 
 To lie at the banks o' Yarra 
 With their spreading yards apeak.  
  Aye, South'ard and West'ard bravely, 
 Since ever the years were born, 
 They battle the wild Atlantic, 
 They battle around the Horn, 
 With the California clipper 
 Dainty and deep in the beam, 
 And the Austral clipper racing 
 Ahead of the days of steam!  
  ‘T is a lordly, long convention 
 Foregathering day by day, 
 From the Mayflower bravely beating 
 Her passage to Cape Cod bay, 
 From the trim old wooden traders, 
 Who smuggled their silks and lace, 
 To the steel-built Cunard packet 
 With her record-making pace.  
  They sleep in the deep, dark places, 
 The fleets of the days gone by; 
 But oft when the flaked sea-fires 
 To the churning screw-beats fly, 
 At the sound of a faint, sad music, 
 The lilt of an old-time tune, 
 They rise from their grave of waters 
 To ride ‘neath the quiet moon:  
  The ships of the Dreamers gather— 
 They gather at dead of night 
 Till the face of the deep, dark places 
 With their crowding sail grows white; 
 And then, in a grand procession, 
 Away to the West they sail, 
 With a long-oared galley leading 
 And a liner at the tail. 
   II. Lost and Given Over. 
  A MERMAID'S not a human thing, 
 An' courtin' sich is folly; 
 Of flesh an' blood I'd rather sing, 
 What ain't so melancholy. 
 Oh, Berta! Loo! Juanita! Sue! 
 Here's good luck to me and you— 
  Sing rally! ri-a-rally!  
 The seas is deep; the seas is wide; 
 But this I'll prove whate'er betide. 
 I'm bully in the alley! 
 I'm bull-ee in our al-lee!  
  The Hoogli gal 'er face is brown; 
 The Hilo gal is lazy; 
 The gal that lives by 'Obart town 
 She'd drive a dead man crazy; 
 Come, wet your lip, and let it slip! 
 The  Gretna Green's  a tidy ship— 
  Sing rally!  
 The seas is deep; the seas is blue; 
 But 'ere's good 'ealth to me and you! 
  Ho, rally!   
  The Lord may drop us off our pins 
 To feed ‘is bloomin’ fishes; 
 But Lord forgive us for our sins— 
 Our sins is most delicious! 
 Come, drink it up and fill yer cup! 
 The world it owes us bite and sup, 
 And Mimi, Ju-Ju, Sally; 
 The seas is long; the winds is strong; 
 The best of men they  will  go wrong— 
  Hi, rally! ri-a-rally!   
  The Bowery gal she knows 'er know; 
 The Frisco gal is silly; 
 The Hayti gal ain't white as snow— 
 They're whiter down in Chili. 
 Now what's the use to shun the booze? 
 They'll flop yer bones among the ooze 
 Sou'-west-by-Sou' the galley. 
 The seas is green; the seas is cold; 
 The best of men they must grow old— 
  Sing rally! ri-a-rally!   
  All round the world, where'er I roam, 
 This lesson I am learnin'. 
 If you've got sense you'll stop at home 
 And save the bit yer earnin'. 
 So hang the odds! It's little odds, 
 When every ‘eathen ‘as 'is gods, 
 An' neither two will tally: 
 When black and white drink, wimmin, fight— 
 In these three things they're all alright— 
  Sing rally! ri-a-rally!   
  When double bunks, fo'castle end, 
 Is all the kind that's carried, 
 Our manners they will likely mend— 
 Most likely we'll be married. 
 But till sich time as that be done, 
 We'll take our fun as we've begun— 
  Sing rally!  
 The flesh is weak; the world is wide; 
 The dead man 'e goes overside— 
  Sing rally! rally!   
  We're given and lost to the girls that wait 
 From Trinity to Whitsund'y, 
 From Sunda Strait to the Golden Gate 
 An' back to the Bay o' Fundy; 
 Oh, it's Mabel, Loo, an' it's Nancy-Poo, 
 An' ‘ere's good luck, an’ I love you— 
  Sing rally!  
 Oh, it's cents an' dollars an' somebody hollers— 
 The sun comes up an' the mornin' follers— 
  Sing rally!   
  We're given an' lost to the octoroon, 
 The Portugee cruiser painty, 
 The Chinkie gal with 'er eyes 'arf-moon, 
 An' the Japanee darlin' dainty. 
 Oh, it's Tokio-town when the sun goes down, 
 It's ‘arf-a-pint and it's ‘arf-a-crown— 
  Sing rally!  
 ‘Er spars may lift an’ ‘er keel can shift, 
 When a man is done 'e's got to drift— 
  Sing rally! Ho, rally!   
  The Hoogli gal 'er face is brown, 
 The Hilo gal's a daisy, 
 The gal that lives by 'Obart-town 
 She'd drive a dead man crazy. 
 So, pretty an' plain, it's Sarah Jane 
 'Uggin' an' kissin' an' “Come again!” 
  Sing rally! ri-a-rally!  
 The seas is deep; the seas is wide; 
 But this I'll prove what else betide, 
 I'm bully  in  the alley, 
 Ho; Bull ee  in the Al- lee!   
   III. Hides and Tallow. 
  HERE ain't a lavender ditty, 
 Sung by a sweet-scented cove; 
 Here ain't no wine-inspired, witty 
 Story of Honour and Love. 
 Here is the song of the Taller; 
 Likewise the chanty of 'Ides, 
 Greasy an' dirty an' yaller, 
 Gritty an' stinkin' besides— 
  'Ides an' taller, taller an' 'ides!   
  Potes who 'ave nourished on roses, 
 Given to sipping of dew, 
 Potes with sus-ceptible noses, 
 This ain't intended for you! 
 These are the lands that lie fallow, 
 Unploughed by the pens of Romance; 
 This is the ode of the tallow,— 
 Odorous tallow perchance;  
  The whenceness of Which an' the Whither, 
 No creed of no church ain't secure; 
 Old fashions and fancies may wither, 
 One fact it is certain an' sure— 
 There's nothink smells worse nor the taller, 
 Always exceptin' the 'ides; 
 Grimy, an' sweaty, an' yaller, 
 Gritty an' greasy besides, 
  'Ides an' taller, taller an' 'ides!   
  The wool bales is easy to lumber; 
 We knows 'em the same as a book; 
 The clerk keeps his eye on the number, 
 You cop 'em right side with yer 'ook. 
 You knows a dern “dump” when you spot 'im; 
 You 'ump 'im, an' truck 'im away: 
 A cask, you'll perceive, when you've got 'im, 
 Ain't never constructed that way.  
  'E slips, an' 'e rolls, an' 'e shices, 
 'E bucks, an' 'e wobbles, an' worse, 
 'E jams, an' 'e rams, an' entices 
 ‘Ard-workin’ pore blokes for to curse,— 
 Oh, burn all the pro-duct of taller! 
 An' sink all the pro-duct of 'ides! 
 It's 'eavy an' dirty an' yaller, 
 It's greasy an' stinkin' besides— 
  'Ides an' taller, taller an' 'ides!   
  The thing that gets over a feller 
 Is kids, an' a missus to keep: 
 It don't make 'is lot none too meller; 
 It don't much provoke 'im to sleep; 
 'E ain't got no time to grow lazy; 
 'E's got to look limber an' slick, 
 Though taller 'd drive a cove crazy, 
 An' 'ides makes a feller go sick.  
  So that is the reason we're lumpin' 
 Them pro-ducts that's awkwardly rolled; 
 A-thumpin' our shin-bones, an' bumpin' 
 The same to their place in the 'old. 
 If 'ell is as 'ot as they tell us, 
 We need n't be gallied by that, 
 The devils will strike when they smell us 
 A-rendering up of our fat!  
  The Preacher, whose pulpit is furnished 
 With cushions of velvet an' silk, 
 With bloomin' brass rails, brightly burnished, 
 Who scoffs all the honey and milk— 
 ' E  often gets up, an' 'e preaches 
 A sermon on cussin' an' beer, 
 On liver an' bacon, an' peaches! 
 'E guys us pore sinners down 'ere.  
  But, Lord! let him rip off 'is cassock 
 An' peel to 'is sanctified pelt; 
 Give over 'is nice feather 'assock, 
 An' kneel where us jokers 'as knelt, 
 With sweat an' 'ard graft for to haller 
 'Is soul, an' 'is body besides! 
 Contrition ain't nothink to taller, 
 An' prayin' ain't in it with 'ides— 
  'Ides an' taller, taller an' 'ides!   
  We ain't much addicted to sorrow, 
 We're given right over to slang; 
 It's yakker to-day, 'an to-morrow 
 You're smashed and they don't give a 'ang. 
 There's Jones—'e was workin' last Monday— 
 Cask rolled an' she pinned 'im long-side— 
 They'll carve up 'is innards 'fore Sunday 
 To find out the reason 'e died.  
  The brokers is scoopin'  their  profit; 
 It pays 'em right up to the hilt; 
 Cham-pagne is their tap, an' they scoff it,— 
 The buyers don't growl if it's spilt. 
 But beer's  our  own tack, an' we booze it; 
 'T is good for our common insides; 
 'T is good for yer soul if you views it 
 Al-right through the taller an' 'ides— 
 ' Ides an' taller, taller an' 'ides!   
  This hugly four-master she offers 
 A 'old that's as deep as the deuce; 
 The takings will bulge  their  fat coffers, 
 By gosh! but  we 'll stew in our juice. 
 Their mess-kids is smokin' up forrard— 
 My breakfast it mainly were bread; 
 This feel in your stummick is 'orrid, 
 It's worse nor the feel in your 'ead.  
  By God! if I'm tempted to leave 'er, 
 To get one more sniff o' the sea, 
 My bloomin' “ole Dutch” were a griever— 
 It's longshore an' cuss it for  me . 
 It's 'umpin' the wool in 'ot seasons; 
 It's rollin' these casks in the cold; 
 It's “Stand by the slings!”—for good reasons; 
 Get graft, an' more graft, an' grow old.  
  I'm clewed to four walls an' a table, 
 The chairs an' the kids an' the wife; 
 I'm petticoat-tied, and ain't able 
 To kick for the old rovin' life; 
 I'm hitched to the wool an' the taller, 
 The copra, an' sich like besides; 
 I'm spliced to the bales an' the taller, 
 The 'orns an' the bones an' the 'ides— 
 ‘ Ides an’ taller, taller an' 'ides!   
  I've got a spare judy out yonder; 
 I 'ad a nice gal in Bombay; 
 Wot's Nelly a-doin', I wonder? 
 I'll cut my stick over some day … 
 By guns! were I just a bit younger 
 I'd slip in the twink o' the tides; 
 This bleedin' ole tub she could 'unger 
 For me, for 'er taller an' 'ides— 
 ‘ Ides an’ Taller!  
  Taller !!  
  An' 'Ides!!   
   IV. I've Got Bad News. 
  THEY stitched him up in his canvas shirt 
 As stiff as a frozen board; 
 They sewed pig lead at his feet an' head 
 And they sloshed him overboard. 
 The Old Man hadn't a conscience, 
 Exceptin' his wheel and chart, 
 He pulled on sight, and his aim was right. 
 For he shot him through the heart!  
   His girl she waits in Grosvenor Street , 
  That's hard by Sydney Quay , 
  His girl she waits in Grosvenor Street  
  This two long year waits she , 
  And 'er heart may weep, but he's sleepin' deep  
  In the North Atlantic Sea .  
  He shipped with a Nova-Scotia man 
 Last time that ever he signed; 
 His cash was spent and 'er sails was bent, 
 And he was drunk and blind,— 
 A man must take what he can get, 
 There's plenty of men to spare, 
 With Danes and Swedes and the Dago breeds, 
 And ships go everywhere.  
  He laid his hand to a marlin'spike— 
 Oh, he was a man to know! 
 And the deck ran red where he fell and bled, 
 But he shouldn't 'ave acted so. 
 His blood was up and the threat came free; 
 But the high seas have their ways, 
 And that was the end of a lover and friend, 
 And these are “the better days.”  
  'T is round and round, as the world goes round, 
 With a civil tongue in your 'ead; 
 'T is “do as you're told,” though you're starved and cold 
 An' bitterly driven an' led, 
 'T is to and fro as you sign and go 
 Till Death he crosses your hawse; 
 You're stinted and worn, you're tattered and torn. 
  But the Owners make the laws .  
  A girl she lives in Grosvenor Street — 
  Oh, Lord! that I 'ad n't to go . 
  A girl she lives in Grosvenor Street  
  And 't will break 'er 'eart to know  
  How he fell and bled, and I wish I was dead , 
  But he shouldn't 'ave acted so .  
   V. The Loading of the Pride. 
  CLIPPER ship, the Pride of Commerce, loading now with hides and wool, 
 Advertised to sail on Monday—stevedore must get her full; 
 Stevedore must have her ready, be he well or be he ill, 
 And, if stevedore won't do it, we can find a man who will. 
 ‘ Re-a-rally! Ri-a-rally! —Twenty men to go below. 
 Now, my lads, I want no loafing—grafters only gets a show. 
 Boss I am, and boss I will be, and I'll have no skulking here; 
 It's  grafting  down below, men, 
 It's go it all you know, men, 
 Till the skipper gets his papers and the 'peter's' up to clear.”  
  Tropic climate, iron vessel, greasy wool—peculiar smell; 
 Down below the atmosphere is—something worse than words will tell; 
 Down below in shirt and trousers, sweating, swearing like a Turk, 
 Stevedore is stowing cargo, glad enough to be at work. 
 “ Re-a-rally! ri-a-rally!  Give that screw another shake. 
 Agent says we've got to load her, ev'ry bloomin' pound she'll take. 
 Promised owner “go by Monday” and we mustn't miss a bale— 
 So it's ram her, jam her, cram her, 
 Fire her cargo in and damn her, 
 For the other boat is loading and they'll race her for the sale.”  
  Stevedore is mostly idle while the winter drags away; 
 Now the sun of work is shining and he means to make his hay; 
 “Bob” an hour and sweat, half-roasted, till your socks are wet with slime; 
 “Bob” an hour and, if you're lucky, one-and-six for overtime. 
 “ Re-a-rally! ri-a-rally!  Why the devil  don't  you sweat? 
 Don't you see them after-hatches ain't been touched at all as yet? 
 S'elp-me-Gawd! you make me shrivel; can't you bend your lazy back? 
 If you don't go at it quicker, 
 May I never drink my licker, 
 But I'll go below and give you, every mother's son, the sack!”  
  Skipper, in the after-cabin, has a “lady” to amuse; 
 Mate and friend are sipping whisky—mate is somewhat on the booze. 
 Purser comes aboard for dinner; “second's” taking tally here; 
 Crew are for'ard making merry on some bad colonial beer. 
 “ Re-a-rally! ri-a-rally!  Stand from under! Mind the slings! 
 Hang it! Use yer hook, you duffer! Can't you catch her as she swings? 
 ‘Tarnal fool! he's gone and missed it! H'ist away there, quick's y' can! 
 Why the blazing Son of Thunder 
 Couldn't he have stood from under? 
 Leg's broke! Can't move! Look sharp! Fetch along a basket—and a man!”  
  Pulleys' strain and winches' rattle echoed from the rival ship; 
 Both must be at “home” discharging when they sell the season's clip. 
 London market  must  be studied. “Monarch”'s waiting for the tide, 
 “And I'll sink the ship or beat him,” says the captain of the Pride. 
 “ Re-a-rally! ri-a-rally re-a-ri-a-rally-ho!  
 Come ashore and lend a hand, lads! Slip her lines and let her go. 
 Yes! she draws a lot of water, but they'll get her out by dark, 
 And I'll wager half-a-crown, 
 That the Monarch's deeper down, 
 Even if the Pride is just a leetle past her Plimsollmark.”  
  Agent on the wharf stands smiling. Says to skipper with a bow; 
 “We have kept our promise, captain, to her owners, you'll allow.” 
 Hatches down and gangway hoisted—Pride's in tow behind her boat, 
 And, his help no longer needed, stevedore puts on his coat, 
 “ Re-a-rally! ri-a-rally!  Now, then, fill ‘em up once more! 
 All the crew was drunk as niggers when the pilot kem ashore! 
 And the captain and the mate, sirs, was as tight as tight could be; 
 But we've earned a ‘bob’ or two, 
 Let her sink or struggle through, 
 We have crammed her to the hatches—that's enough for you and me.”  
   VI. Down in Honolulu. 
  'TWAS down in Honolulu, 
 Way off one night afar, 
 The sea-breeze comin' cooler 
 Across the coral bar, 
 When Lulu's eyes were brighter 
 Than any girl's I knew, 
 When Lulu's teeth were whiter 
 Than any coral, too. 
 Oh! Lulu, Lulu, Lulu, 
 My warm Pacific pearl! 
 My lovely, lively Lulu— 
 My own Kanaka girl!  
  I kissed her for her mother, 
 I gev' her one, two, three; 
 I squoze her for her brother— 
 'T was all the same to me. 
 The moon went settin', later, 
 Below the mango trees, 
 One horn towards the crater, 
 One pointin' over seas. 
 Oh! Lulu, Lulu, Lulu, 
 I taste them kisses still! 
 That tropic moon's a-settin' 
 Beyond the darkened hill!  
  For, oh! your heart was beatin'! 
 For, oh! your breath was sweet! 
 And you was good for eatin', 
 If gals was good to eat— 
 And, oh! your lips were cherry! 
 And, oh! your teeth  was  white— 
 I've tried in vain to bury 
 The memory of that night. 
 Ah! Lulu, Lulu, Lulu, 
 I'd give my life, I vow, 
 To live that starlight over— 
 I know I loved you,  now!   
  We heard the ripples feelin' 
 The white edge of the sand, 
 The good, kind music stealin'— 
 That Yankee war-ship's band; 
 I never hear them playin' 
 That old star-spangled air 
 But 'neath the trees I'm layin', 
 And you, my girl, are there. 
 Oh! Lulu, Lulu, Lulu, 
 Wherever you may be, 
 That old “Star-spangled Banner” 
 Still brings you back to me!  
  The sea-breeze, perfume-laden, 
 It rustled through the palms 
 That night, that night I laid in 
 Your warm, soft, twining arms. 
 You swore to love me ever, 
 I swore to love you true 
 Forever an' forever— 
 The way we used to do. 
 Oh! Lulu, Lulu, Lulu, 
 'T was years and years ago; 
 I don't forget it, somehow, 
 Although I ought, I know.  
  We heard the Chinkies prattle 
 Way up in China Town, 
 We heard the hawse-chains rattle 
 That let the anchor down, 
 “Eight bells!” I hear them falling— 
 The Yankee's bugles blow; 
 “Eight bells!” the bo's'n's calling— 
 Dear Love, I've got to go! 
 Oh! Lulu, Lulu, Lulu, 
 Don't cling so awful tight; 
 The old man's got his papers, 
 Good-bye! Ah, no! … Good-night!  
  I feel your arms still clinging— 
 Oh! what's the use to cry? 
 It's “Homeward Bound” they're singing— 
 I'll come back by-and-by. 
 Eight bells! It's done and over; 
 While ships still sail the sea, 
 A sailor man's a rover— 
 Good-bye, and think of me! 
 Oh! Lulu, Lulu, Lulu, 
 I broke the sailor's vow; 
 I want to live it over, 
 I know I loved you,  now!   
  'T was down in Honolulu, 
 Way back in other years, 
 I left you, lovely Lulu, 
 The starlight and the tears. 
 But, oh! your face was fairer 
 Than any face I've met, 
 And, oh! your charms were rarer 
 Than any woman's yet. 
 And, Lulu, Lulu, Lulu, 
 Wherever you may be, 
 My brown Kanaka Lulu— 
  Do you remember me?   
   VII. Sailor-Man. 
  'ARF a pint for me, old party—thank'ee, mister—'ere's yer 'ealth— 
 'Opes y'll live to be a nundred; 'opes yer luck'll bring y'u wealth; 
  Mine  ain't bin as good as might be—never knowed a syler yet, 
 When 'is days o' leave was over, as could even go a wet. 
 Ship's yer 'ouse and 'ome an' country; 'tween 'er ports 't is graft and go; 
 Ain't no chanst o' findin' nuggets, ain't no chanst to save, ye know; 
 Come ashore red 'ot an' thusty, 
 Sick o' sea, an salt, an' rusty, 
 Cheque is bust on beer an' wimmen—ship again, an' cuss an' go— 
 Junk an' biskit, 
 ‘Loft an’ risk it— 
 Oh, it's grand to sail the “hoshun”—”Yah, merrily me lads, yo ho!”  
  ‘Oly Smoke! They gives a concert in the Seamen's 'All, one night, 
 An' I goes an' takes a lydy—real lydy—square an' strite! 
 'Ears a joker rise a chanty 'bout the bloomin' “Hoshun Wyve,” 
 ‘Ears a gal a-singin’ mournful of the “Lonely Syler's Gryve;” 
 Then a bloke comes up an' tells 'em of a “Little Midshipmite,” 
 Which for Queen and Hingland's 'oner shed 'is gore an' won the fight. 
 Looks at Poll, an' finds 'er cryin', 
 When that bloomin' kid is dyin', 
 In a sad an' tragic manner, in “the middle watch at night”— 
 Drivel, drivel, 
 Sobs an' snivel, 
 Gals with pocket-wipes a-weepin,' woman faintin' on the right.  
  “Cheese it, mate!” I sez, “it's orful,” reachin' for me bloomin' ‘at; 
 “Life upon the bloomin' hoshun ain't a blessed bit like  that! ” 
 “ ‘Ush!” sez Poll, “the folks'll 'ear yer,” an' she snivels an' she jaws 
 ‘Coz I wouldn't clap for “Anchor” or weigh in with the'r applause. 
 W'en I ups an' tells that joker as 'ad come aloft to sing 
 That he didn't know 'is business—w'y, they 'owled like anything! 
 An' me bloomin' 'at got busted, 
 An' I left the 'all disgusted; 
 Poll, she swore she would n't 'ave me, an' she gev me back me ring— 
 Gin an' sorrer— 
 Ships to-morrer, 
 Leaves the blarsted port a-cussin' like “a sea-burd on the wing.”  
  An' they tells me that them jokers gets as much as twenty quid 
 For a song like that ere ditty of the dyin' sailor kid! 
 Now, I never knowed a 'prentice as was given to expire 
 Like a sang-win-airy 'ero w'en 'is bloomin' ship took fire; 
 But I've known 'em play the devil with the morals of a crew; 
 I could also tell a story of the sinful things they do— 
 'Ow they chaws an' spits terbakker, 
 'Ow they does the dirty yakker; 
 'Ow they washes decks o' mornin's on the “boosom o' the blue;” 
 'Ow they damns 'er and they blarsts 'er, 
 An' 'er owner an' 'er master, 
 With the wind a-makin' music an' the bo's'n pipin' through.  
  No, 'e'd never been a 'prentice, 'ad the cove who did the song, 
 Or 'e would n't try to come it quite so (sang-win-airy) strong; 
 'E 'ad never 'ad the pleasure of a trip from Puget Sound 
 With a gory lumber cargo, an' a chanst o' gettin' drowned, 
 'E 'ad never sailed, I'm thinkin'—or 'e'd cuss that 'e was born— 
 With a (sang-win-airy) Scotchman round the (sang-win-airy) Horn, 
 With a slop-made suit o' close on 
 An' 'is fingers stiff and frozen, 
 With the ice upon the gaskets an' her canvas ripped and torn. 
 If 'e 'd 'ad to shorten sail 
 In a good Antarctic gale, 
 'E'd a-sung  another  ditty of “A Syler's Life Forlorn.”  
  'E'd a-sung a diff'rent ditty if 'e'd 'ad to tackle junk 
 In the harness-tub a-churnin' in the tropics till she stunk; 
 If 'e'd 'ad to pick the weevils from the biskit an' be glad 
 That it wa' n't to pick the biskit from the weevils that 'e 'ad; 
 'E'd a-told a touchin' story of a cove as died on land 
 With a fig o' black terbaccer or a whisky in 'is 'and. 
 For, concernin' graft an' vittles, 
 'T ain't exsactly beer and skittles 
 With the able-bodied joker on the “mighty hoshun grand”— 
 On the “deep an' vasty hoshun,” 
 With its cargo of emoshun, 
 An' its “martyrs” servin' for'ard an' its “ 'eroes” in command.  
  'Oly Smoke! I meets the skipper of a bloomin' church one day, 
 An' sez he, “My syler-brother, do y' ever kneel an' pray? 
 W'en the tempest's ragin' round y' ''—'ere 'e drops 'is bloomin' breath, 
 An' 'is voice gets deep an' sollum—“do y' ever think o' death?” 
 “Garn!” sez I, “ you  ain't bin sailin' in a gory gale,” sez I, 
 “Or,” sez I, “you would n't ast me such a foolish question: w'y, 
 It's pipe 'em up like monkeys, 
 If the Old Man is n't drunk, 'e 's 
 On the poop a-cussin' dreadful and a-damnin' low an' 'igh;” 
 “Pull away, ye sons o' thunder!”— 
 Divin' in and decks 'alf under— 
 “Send all 'ands aloft an' ease 'er”—“ Pass the order on!” … “Aye, aye.”  
  Then that parson-cove'e tells me 'ow a cove as fell from grace 
 Would 'ave lots o' 'eat an' torment in the other (crimson) place; 
 'Ow the Christyun bloke was sailin' on the stormy sea o' life, 
 An' 'e ought to feel right thankful for 'is sorrers an' 'is strife; 
 'Ow the likker was Ole Satan, an' the t'other kinds o' sin 
 Kept a feller out of 'Eving w'en 'e wanted to get in. 
 So I see 'is good intention, 
 An I did n't want to mention 
 That I'd like to back “Temptation” an' the “vile a-cussed gin,” 
 An' be certain sure to win it, 
 For a “Christyun soul” ain't in it 
 With one night ashore in fifty an' a little bit o' tin.  
  'Arf-a-pint again, an' thankee! … 'Ere's good luck to you an' me! 
 May y'u never 'ave to yakker as a qualified A.B. 
 May y'u never be a syler of the mercantile marine, 
 Or y'u'll always be a syler, an' y'u'll never 'ave a bean. 
 Oh, yer Jack the king of all, sir, 'fore yer bloomin' stuff is spent; 
 Yer a drunken syler feller w'en 'er sails is bein' bent; 
 But it's round the world a-goin, 
 With the ebbin' an' the flowin', 
 An' y'u need n't fear the bailiff, an' y'u need n't pay no rent; 
 There's a month or two at sea, 
 Then a rattlin', roarin' spree … 
  An' I dunno if I left it that I'd ever be content!   
   VIII. The Hiram Brown. 
  POWER o' ploughs and clothes-pegs in her, pork and beans for ev'ry sinner, 
 Pork and beans for captain's dinner— 
 Pass her lines and pull away! 
  Hiram Brown , of New Orleans, men; lots of graft ye know it means, men, 
 Lifting out those big machines, men— 
 Swing her in there! Hip hooray!  
  Trim old tub, the  Hiram Brown , some dark night she'll dive right down, 
 Every mother's son will drown; 
 She's insured right up, you bet. 
 Built in '50, so they say; guess she's almost had her day— 
 Pass that shore-line on this way— 
 But she wobbles round it yet!  
  Hand the boss them bills o' lading—once she did a bit o' trading 
 When the Yanks were South—blockading, 
 In the days of Stars and Bars. 
 Time they built the  Alabama , Union steamer tried to ram her, 
 Sent him down head-first, goddammer! 
 Shook her engines, saved her spars.  
  Cotton cargo crammed to hatches, out she runs with reb, despatches— 
 See them two big painted patches? 
 That's the mark o' Yankee shot. 
 Out she runs beneath their noses—bangs away—oh, Holy Moses, 
 Ship's afire! Hey, man the hoses! 
 Go she must, or smash the lot.  
  Left and right the guns went banging, whistles tooting, bells-a-clanging; 
 Lots o' gilt to that trip hanging, 
 Worth the risk and worth the fight. 
 Timbers ripped and sails all tattered; wheel-house smashed and starn-post shattered, 
 This same planking blood-bespattered, 
  Hiram Brown  got through all right.  
  When the Yanks had finished shooting,  Hiram Brown  she went recruiting— 
 That dark trade her skipper suiting 
 In the year of sixty-eight. 
 Changed her flag and got new papers; altered down to funnel scrapers; 
 But she starts her same old capers— 
 Seemed they  couldn't  run her straight!  
  Blackbird cargo soon she'd gathered—black-bird cargo, tied and tethered— 
 Rain and storm and wind safe weathered, 
 Sou' by East away she slips; 
 Maybe cargo was n't willing, when with snowy sails outfilling, 
 And the bo's'n's whistle trilling, 
 Squared away that pride of ships.  
  On and off the coast o' Chili,  Hiram Brown  was kept until he 
 Made us think he'd gone quite silly, 
 But one night a schooner come 
 Right 'longside, and making fast, sir, o'er our side in haste we passed, sir 
 (With a look out on the mast, sir) 
 Six-and-eighty casks of rum!  
  Schooner on her way is going, when our skipper, cute and knowing, 
 Sets that rare old stingo flowing— 
 Taps a cask and treats his men. 
 Steam's got up; she makes right down there to a small plantation town where 
 Niggers black and niggers brown there, 
 Served their Dons (for nothing) then.  
  Got our casks ashore at first, boys; guess that job would raise your thirst, boys; 
 Maybe one or two  was  burst, boys, 
 Though for that he did n't stop; 
 Landed niggers next right slickly; ranged those casks on wharf—corrictly; 
 Next (obeying orders) quickly, 
 Perched a nigger each on top.  
  Then our skipper, sleek and smiling, in a manner most beguiling, 
 Law and commerce reconciling, 
 Mounts upon a cotton-bale, 
 Joking with the senors lightly, speaking Spanish there politely, 
 Calm and cool, collected, sprightly, 
 Starts a lively auction sale.  
  Each rich Don who wanted labour understood his planter neighbour, 
 So their troops, with gun and sabre, 
 To arrest us did  not  come; 
 Whilst our captain grew elated as the bids were elevated, 
 And the same, you'll guess, related 
 More to nigger than to rum.  
  So each buyer quick would figger out the value of the nigger, 
 And the auctioneer would snigger 
 When he threw the barrel in! 
 Guess  that  cargo paid her owners: likely they were psalm-song groaners, 
 Scripture-text and proverb moaners, 
 But they winked at tricks of sin.  
   Hiram Brown's  been o'er and under, 'cross the seas in storm and thunder; 
 Some rough night she'll go asunder, 
 And Old Nick will have a lark, 
 Jack's poor lass will be a griever—haul her in and hitch and heave her; 
 Guess next trip the rats will leave her— 
 She's as old as Noah's ark.  
  There's the guy-rope rigged and ready! Got your hatches broke already? 
 Let her zip! Hey, winchman, steady, 
 Case o' hardware marked “B.A.”; 
 Longshore loafers down below there: you're too derned infernal slow there! 
 Hook away, and up ye go there! 
 Yankee Packet's in, hooray!  
   IX. Laying on the Screw. 
  YOU can dunnage casks o' tallow; you can handle hides an' horn; 
 You can carry frozen mutton; you can lumber sacks o' corn; 
 But the queerest kind o' cargo that you've got to haul an' pull 
 Is Australia's “staple product”—is her God-abandoned wool. 
 For it's greasy an' it's stinkin', an' them awkward, ugly bales 
 Must be jammed as close as herrings in a ship afore she sails. 
  So you yakker, yakker, yakker , 
  For the drop o' beer an' bacca , 
  For to earn your bloomin' clobber an' the bit o' tuck you eat . 
  When you're layin' on the screw , 
  With the boss a-cursin' you , 
  An' the sweat runs like a river, an' you're chokin' with the heat .  
  Yes, “there's someone got to do it,” as I've often heard 'em say, 
 But it means a lot o' graftin' for a very little pay, 
 An' I ain't a bit “contented with my bloomin' earthly lot.” 
 An' I'd take an easy billet—oh, I'd jump it on the spot. 
 For it's greasy an' it's stinkin', an' I'm getting pretty full 
 Of this everlastin' sweatin' over blarsted bales o' wool. 
  An' they stow ‘em close together , 
  An' they never ask you whether  
  There is room enough to stand in, or a blessed breath o' air  
  When you're layin' on the screw , 
  When you're haulin' on the screw , 
  And the skipper starts performin' and the boss begins to swear .  
  With the trollies all unloadin', an' the press upon the go, 
 You can bet they keep us at it like the devil down below. 
 You can take your affidavy that the foreman at the hatch. 
 When the tally clerk is busy, makes the talent toe the scratch. 
 When the double dumps are comin', an' the winch begins to grind, 
 They will raise a chanty forrard of the stevedorin' kind: 
 “ I'm goin' down to Tennessee , 
  Oh, take my love and come with me; ” 
  Or, it's “Cheer up, Mrs. Riley,” or “Blow, my Bully Boys, Blow ”— 
  When you're layin' on the screw , 
  When you're haulin' on the screw , 
  In the fluffy, dirty darkness of them anchored hells below .  
  Oh! they say that Labour's noble; but I'd rather be a toff, 
 An' I'd wear a double-breaster, an' I'd never take it off. 
 I can do me pint o' tangle, an' a pipe afore the bar, 
 But I would n't sniff at sherry an' a bloomin' fine cigar. 
 Costs me just a sprat for dinner—meat an' tea an' spuds for  that ; 
 I'd prefer a taste o' turkey, nicely browned, O Lord! an' fat! 
  For it's twist the screw and turn it , 
  And the bit you get you earn it ; 
  You can take the tip from me, sir, that it's anything but play  
  When you're layin' on the screw , 
  When you're draggin' on the screw , 
  In the summer, under hatches, in the middle o' the day .  
  If Australia's “staple product” is her glory, an' her pride, 
 An' “the makin' of her future,” an' a lot o' things beside, 
 Then I reckon I'm assistin' for to build the nation up, 
 When I'm graftin' on the product for me bloomin' bite and sup. 
 An' I'd strike for 'igher wages if I thought I 'ad a show; 
 I would down me hook this minnit, an' I'd up the hatch an' go. 
  But there's plenty oj 'em prayin'  
  For a chance to graft, an' sayin'  
  That the times is somethin' dreadful; an' they stand a-lookin' on  
  When you're layin' on the screw , 
  When you're toilin' on the screw , 
  An' they'd jump the job an' keep it soon as ever you was gone .  
  So it's “ re-a-ri-a-rally ,” an' another tier o' bales 
 For the glory of the empire, an' the good of New South Wales; 
 But they're stinkin' an' they're heavy, an' they're awkward for to lift, 
 An' the place you've got to stow 'em—w'y, there is n't room to shift. 
 But you're “broadenin' out the channels of our great an' growin' trade,” 
 An' you're “helpin' make  our  progress”—though it is n't yours when made. 
  So it's yakker, yakker, yakker , 
  For the drop o' beer an' bacca , 
  For the little bit o' silver that you spend in meat and bread , 
  When you're layin' on the screw , 
  When you're haulin' on the screw , 
  Till yer blessed 'eart is broken an' yer faith an' ‘ope is dead .  
   X. The Whaler's Pig. 
  WE shipped him at the Sandwich Isles— 
 'Fore God, he's mostly nose! 
 We've fetched him full eight thousand miles 
 To fatten in the floes.  
  The Arctic wind may whistle down 
 The ice-strewn Okhart Sea; 
 Our “passenger” don't care a darn— 
 A whaler's pig is he.  
  The blubber which the brute devours, 
 Hard fruit of our harpoon, 
 He merely holds in trust; 't is ours— 
 Fresh pork! God send it soon!  
  Now, when her sloppy deck's amuck 
 With stale cetacean spoil, 
 The glutton wallows in the ruck, 
 An alderman a-drip with oil.  
  When from the crow's-nest rings the shout 
 Clear-echoed. “There she blows!” 
 “Jeff Davis” lifts his grizzled snout 
 To let us know  he  knows.  
  The white ash-blades drop down and rise; 
 The royal chase begins; 
 He watches with his wicked eyes, 
 And multiplies his sins.  
  With critic squint he stands betide 
 The harpooner prepares; 
 And if the erring steel goes wide 
 In swinish tongue he swears! 
 ( Great Heavens! how he swears! )  
  But when we strike her good and fair, 
 Before the line runs hot, 
 He'll lift a hoarse hog-cheer out there 
 With all the strength he's got;  
  And when he sees the steerer take 
 The bold boat-header's place, 
 A gourmand smile will slowly break 
 Like sunrise round his face.  
  Around the loggerhead the line 
 Grows taut as taut may be— 
 Three turns to hang your life and mine 
 High o'er Eternity!  
  Who thinks of that? Not I, not you, 
 Not he who most complains, 
 When leaping fire the blood swirls through 
 Our thumping hearts and veins.  
  'T is “Fast she is!” … “Now! .. Let her go!” 
 Our college stroke-oar yells; 
 This hour is worth a life to know; 
 'T is now the  savage  tells.  
  They maybe shared (ere progress rose) 
 Who sired first earls and dukes, 
 A kindred ecstacy with those 
 Who dodge a fighter's flukes.  
  So felt our simian sires who tied 
 Their sheet-o'-bark canoes 
 To some grim mosasaur's tough hide, 
 With only life to lose.  
  But this Kanaka hog will see 
 The whetted lance succeed; 
 Glad epicure, he grunts in glee, 
 Foreknowledged of his feed.  
  Thus will his belly teach his tongue 
 What eloquence it may 
 (Some noble songs by poets sung 
 Have been inspired that way).  
  So will he squeal approval when 
 Our six-hour fight is done. 
 And lord it bravely in his pen 
 O'er quarry chased and won.  
  So will he join the chanty free 
 That echoes as she tows 
 To bring his porcine jubilee 
 And glad his adipose.  
  It is not clean nor nice of taste, 
 This episode of trade, 
 That lurches with indecent haste 
 Towards the blubber spade.  
  Yet still we know that man made sail, 
 Invented rig on rig, 
 And God Almighty made the whale 
 That feeds the whaler's pig.  
  This sorry beast which might have drowned, 
 As hogs and humans can, 
 He also made, so runs the round, 
 To feed the whaler-man.  
  The whaler-man will get his “lay,” 
 The whaler's pig his share— 
 First whale, then pig, then man. Some day 
 The worm will make it square!  
   XI. The Blazing Star. 
  BLAZIN' STAR, from Boston city—Yankee goods and kerosene; 
 Foreign crew and cook and master; stout, old-fashioned brigantine. 
 Hamburg-built and rigged and coppered 'fore the flying days of steam; 
 Square in bows and starn, and steady; well-set spars and broad o' beam. 
 Rolled across the rough Atlantic, round the Cape and round the Horn, 
 Been a famous ocean trader 'fore the younger age was born. 
 Carried corn and carried sugar, carried cotton, carried tea; 
 Sailed in every kind of water, weathered storm and wind and sea; 
 Been to Behring Straits a-whaling, been for rice to Singapore, 
 Been to North and South, and round it, but she's never been ashore. 
 See 'er manifest, m' hearties, piles and piles o' hardware stock, 
 Case and crate and box and package—ram her, jam her chock-a-block. 
 So you'll get them shore-lines ready, now they've run 'er numbers out, 
 And the man that isn't willing he can face to right-about, 
 For the agent's got to send 'er down to Callao with shale, 
 And we'll empty and we'll fill 'er in a fortnight—and she'll sail.  
  Heave away, you damn Dutch devils! and we'll heave away ashore. 
 She 'as lost a bit o' canvas, and 'er planks is weather-wore. 
 Ease 'er 'ed and round her gently! Put the fenders out, I say! 
 Pass that line a trifle forrard; let 'er 'ave a bit o' way! 
 By the livin' ghost, M'Ginnis, if I 'ave to talk to  you!  … 
 Steady, steady! all together! 'Nother turn—there, that'll do!  
  Round the Horn, and none the worse, sir; crew and captain safe and sound. 
 Bar a Swede—there's plenty of 'em— he  went over-board and drowned. 
 Bless my soul! there ain't a vessel hardly ever comes to port, 
 Be the passage what it may be, but the list is  some one short. 
  Someone  slips from shrouds or mainyard; block hits  someone  on the 'ed— 
 What the devil does it matter 'long as Someone's safely dead? 
 Get yer tackle right and ready! strip, ye lazy sinners, strip! 
  Blazin' Star's my  boat, I reckon. I'm the boss of this yere ship. 
 I'm the foreman, don't forget it! and begawd I'll let ye know 
 Who is who and over hatches when the winch begins to go. 
 Cook 'as got some baked beans doin', bit o' pork to give 'em tone— 
 Foreign captain, fond o' livin',  Blazin' Star's  a boat to own. 
 Damn the duties! lots o' bacca stowed in corners here and there; 
 Want to get it safe ashore, sir? foreman,  e's  the man to square. 
 Customs cove is sharp and surly; won't accept the mate's invite 
 Down to dinner in the cabin, won't “come back on board to-night.” 
 Friend o' mine,  e's  got a dingy—very dark, I guess, at ten— 
 'Ave the 'bacca ready forrard; see what we can do by then!  
   Blazin' Star , from Boston city! Break the hatches fore and aft; 
 'T will not be the first occasion hatch was broke on this same craft. 
 Sailed the  Star  myself in '60—that was twenty year before 
 Women, booze, and seaman's worries made me try my luck ashore, 
 Sailed the  Star  with Yankee captain round to New Orleans and back; 
 Blued a cheque among the French girls, got a touch o' Yaller Jack. 
 Oh, she's staunch and stout and steady, and she's got the proper grit; 
 You should see 'er—reefed from royals—dip 'er damn Dutch nose in it! 
 You should see 'er, washed with waters from 'er bowsprit to 'er starn, 
 Rise and shake 'erself upon 'em 's if she did n't care a darn.  
  Pat M'Ginnis, put your coat on! PUT IT ON! you loafing sod! 
 Thought I was n't looking, did you? but you can't 'ave me, begawd! 
 Don't I catch you broaching cargo? When  I  start to steal a hat 
  I  won't set about it, sonny, in a clumsy way like that.  
  Yes! she's reckoned small and ugly, as they build 'em nowadays, 
 But she's strong as ever floated from 'er keelson to 'er stays; 
 North and south and round about it, sail 'er near or sail 'er far, 
 Any flag you send 'er under, she'll come back the  Blazin' Star . 
 East and west, and let 'er 'ave it; give 'er all the sail she'll take, 
  Blazin' Star  will fetch 'er cargo, or 'er bloomin' back will break.  
  Now, my lads, the Dutchman's waiting—wants to see 'er on the go 
 'Fore he comes ashore on business—“choost for half-an-hour or so.” 
 Gets up town and drinking whisky, treating Sis and Sue and Kate; 
 “Half-an-hour” will spread till morning—boozy skipper, boozy mate; 
 Boozy crew, ashore till midnight; lots of ladies round the town; 
 Lots of foreign friends to meet 'em; lot o' folks to take 'em down. 
 What's the odds? The sailor's happy; let him live a week or two; 
 Junk and biscuit make him moody—not the tack for me and you! 
 What's the odds if someone robs him? Let the lady play her game; 
 Robbed he will be, soon or later, so you see it's all the same. 
 Hi, there! Yonsen; move yer body!—I'm the foreman of this ship; 
 If you  don't —so help me scarlet!—up the gory hatch you skip!  
   Blazin' Star  from Boston city! port to port in ninety days, 
 With the sea salt, white and sparkling, crusted on 'er water-ways. 
 Rolled around the North Atlantic, tossed about by day and night, 
 Weather-wore, mayhap, a trifle, but she's spar and timber tight, 
 Square o'bows and starn, and steady; she's the proper kind o' grit; 
 You should see 'er—clear to royals—dip 'er damn Dutch nose in it; 
 You should see 'er waller through 'em at a Flyin'-Dutchman's speed, 
 With the winds o' hell behind 'er, on the night they lost the Swede. 
 God o' Glory! she's a scorcher—mainyard under, decks swept clean— 
  Blazin' Star  ain't built for sinking—good old-fashioned brigantine!  
   XII. The For'ard Hold. 
  OH, we all was tired o' waiting in the spring of Eighty-three, 
 When  The Duke  came up the 'arbour an' was berthed beside the Quay; 
 And the waiter breaks the 'atches, an' we rushes in a mob 
 To the side of that 'ere vessel in the 'opes to get a job! 
 But the foreman blocks the gangway with the cove that takes our time, 
 And we stand ashore before 'em an' we forms a sort o' line.  
  Then it's “You I want I” an' “You there!”—and you'd fancy, by the Lord! 
 They was goin' to be married by the way they gets aboard. 
 “Here you, Sugar Jack and Stitches! Here, Long Jones an' Ginger Law! 
 Hi! stand back there—not you, Dutchy!”—an' he drops his bloomin' jaw. 
 He was always lean an' scraggy, an' his bony, ugly knees 
 Seemed a-pokin' out before him through his faded dungarees; 
 An' the lads had called him “Mudder” 'cause he often used to say, 
 “I haf left mine poor old mudder over dere in Norrovay, 
 An' I save up all mine moneys till I pay her passage out, 
  Den  I spend mit you for liquor; den, my boys, you see, I shout!” 
 That was when they chyacked Mudder, called him “Dutch!” and “Stingy cur!” 
 When he wouldn't shout for loafers—he was saving up for  her .  
  Well, I spotted poor old Mudder, an' I guessed though times were bad, 
 They'd been extra bad with Dutchy; an' the little bit he 'ad, 
 'Stead of going home to Norway, had been melting day by day 
 Into nightly doss and tucker, till it melted right away. 
 I 'ad got enough for breakfast, an' I knew a place to doss, 
 An' they calls me up the gangway, but I stops an' asks the boss 
 (For I 'appened to be friendly, an' I speaks a trifle free) 
 Sez I, “Mudder's pretty 'ungry. Let 'im go instead o' me!” 
 So he sings out “Come on, Mudder!” an' he didn't come, he rolled; 
 An' they tells us to go for'ard to the iron in the hold.  
  Oh, her for'ard is a daisy! an' the blasted rails she brings, 
 'T is the devil's job to shift 'em or to get 'em in the slings; 
 An' the way they build them vessels with a narrow kind o' bows 
 It's a terror to discharge 'em, as yer 'umble servant knows. 
 “Hist away!” an' up she travels. “Wup! Hold on now! Steady there!” 
 An' the sling of railroad metal hangs above us in the air, 
 “Lower away now, winchman, easy! Hey! Look out, there! Hey! Hey!” …  smack!  … 
 Chain has parted—rotten tackle—poor old Dutchy—broken back!  
  “ Oh, my Mudder! ” … No one knew her, but I think that all the day 
 Most of us could dimly see her, waiting for him far away; 
 Waiting for her sailor laddie—and him gettin' stiff an' cold, 
 An' the clots upon the iron drying in the for'ard-hold.  
  He was always lean an' scraggy, an' his ugly, bony knees 
 Seemed a-poking out before him through his faded dungarees; 
 But I know if there's a future, and Saint Peter minds the 'atch, 
 That he'll give a show to Dutchy and he'll save him from Old Scratch. 
 Though I ain't so very pious—fact, I guess I'm full o' sin— 
 Yet I'll swear, if there's a Heaven, that us steve-dores gets in; 
 So I'll go and look for “Mudder” if I reach the Land o' Gold, 
 An' I guess I'll find him for'ard with the angels in the hold!  
   XIII. Sarah Dow. 
  'ER mother kep' a lodgin' place— 
 I got to know 'er there— 
 She 'ad the sunrise on 'er face, 
 The sunset in 'er 'air. 
 To other wimmen that I've met 
 I'd rather not refer, 
 But I'd 'ave sold (an' paid the debt!) 
 My willin' soul for ' er!   
   Oh, Sarah Dow! Oh, Sarah Dow!  
  You were too good for me, I vow;  
  But if I could 'ave died, I would — 
  To serve you, Sarah Dow!   
  I mustered up the pluck one day— 
 'T was pretty 'ard to do; 
 I 'adn't 'arf the 'eart to say 
 One 'arf I wanted to;— 
 I asked 'er if she 'd be my wife— 
 I 'ad no chance, I know, 
 But it was, somehow, death in life 
 To 'ear 'er tell me—“No!”  
  I've been like sailormen ashore 
 To spend my 'ard-earned pence; 
 I'd been a reckless dog before 
 An' little better since; 
 I never saw 'er face agen, 
 The face that 'urt me so, 
 I never saw 'er face since then— 
 She died ten year ago.  
  But I've a picture in my bunk 
 I don't let no one see, 
 An' when I'm done an' drowned an' sunk 
 That picture goes with me. 
 I've been an' hid it in my kit, 
 I would n't 'ear them laugh, 
 An' onst a while I looks at it, 
 An old tin photograrf.  
   Oh, Sarah Dow! Oh, Sarah Dow!  
  It's gettin' brown an' faded now;  
  But you are there still young an' fair , 
  My Sarah, Sarah Dow!   
   XIV. Mcfee of Aberdeen. 
  THEY'VE scraped her sides, and tarred her ropes, and patched her suit o' sails; 
 They've filled her full o' varied stock for firms in New South Wales; 
 She's left her berth in London Docks, she's left the Lizard light, 
 And in the rough Atlantic now her bowsprit stabs the night. 
 But, rough or smooth, or foul or fair, whate'er the waters be, 
 He'll take her out and bring her home, or sink her, will McFee.  
  They've seen the sun go down, go down, and turn her canvas red, 
 And as she rides the darkened seas they'll watch the stars o'erhead; 
 They'll watch the stars that splash the skies with sparkling silver spray, 
 Out in the Great Unfathomed Deep away, and still away! 
 But when the Trades have stretched her sheets and sing among her shrouds, 
 Like some glad, buoyant spirit-thing she'll leap towards the clouds; 
 From morn to noon, from noon to night, she'll pitch and roll and toss, 
 And as the Bear goes out of sight they'll see the Southern Cross; 
 Across the Line and off the land, hull-down this side the Cape, 
 By chart and compass and the sun her outward course he'll shape; 
 And be the ocean deep and blue, or be the ocean green. 
 'T will not affect his wonted calm—McFee of Aberdeen!  
  The Glasgie skipper, towing down, will pass him on the way, 
 And as she dips her colours aft his crew will hip-hooray, 
 For in the ports where sailors meet and out across the sea 
 Hath passed the name and gone the fame of sturdy Jock McFee.  
  Though print has spread and wars have raged and rebels have been hung, 
 Though o'er and o'er the world has changed since Jock McFee was young, 
 The ways of steam he will not learn; but, Lord! to hear him speak 
 Of racing trips and rousing deeds when ships were built of teak, 
 Ere paddle-wheels or double-screws had altered all the years, 
 And “sailor-men  were  sailor-men, not sea-sick engineers!”  
  So build your steamboats big as towns, electric lights and all, 
 By wood and canvas to the end, McFee will stand or fall; 
 For wood and canvas, wind and tide, the books of sky and sea, 
 With strange salt oaths and curses make the knowledge of McFee.  
  The wars may come, the wars may end, and crowns be lost or won, 
 He rolls around the rolling world that rolls around the sun; 
 And men may write most wondrous books, and men may count the stars, 
 His aim in life is still to get all sail upon his spars; 
 Nor does he care how kings may fare or empires may decline, 
 When underneath his vessel's keel deep lies the cable-line; 
 But skies of lead and seas of ink, when winds like devils roar, 
 Will find her reefed or taut and snug, bare poles and well off shore.  
  Some fingers, mate, are made for pens, but they be white and soft, 
 And some are made as hard as nails for clewing sail aloft, 
 For short'ning sail on stormy nights, when the wet wind takes your breath: 
 For holding fast to greasy yards when letting go means death! 
 So in his log-book, “out and in,” no flowing lines you'll see, 
 But scrawling entries, short and curt, hard-written by McFee. 
 Said entries treat, in sailor terms, of how “the Betsy, barque, 
 Was met in”—longitude exact—“May 25, at dark;” 
 Or “Sighted land at 10 a.m,” with soundings such and such, 
 Or “Smith, A.B., from crosstrees fell,” or “Passed screw-steamer, Dutch.”  
  Aye, round the world, and round the world, where'er his owners will, 
 His cargo aft to land and leave, his for'ard hold to fill; 
 Across the seas and o'er the seas, and o'er the seas again, 
 Through night and morning, clear or cloud, through calm and wind and rain, 
 She'll roll along, she'll pitch along, she'll tack, and turn, and drive, 
 And while her spars still in her stand she'll come to port alive. 
 But if her sticks and she should part, and jury-masts should fail, 
 'Tis said McFee would doff his shirt, and still contrive to sail.  
  The port is not on charts laid down, nor put on maps, I ween. 
 Where, in his youth, or in his prime, some time he hath not been. 
 He'll talk and tell of Plymouth town, of far Alaskan bays, 
 Of New Orleans and Puget Sound, Colombo and its ways, 
 Of arrack drunks, and sam-shu sprees, of Old Kaintucky rye; 
 But when he comes to talk of girls, be sure that none are by: 
 For sailormen  are  sailormen—the same right all the way 
 From Glasgow to the Golden Gate, from Rio to Bombay: 
 And Neptune rules the rolling deep, but Venus reigns ashore, 
 So rest assured that Venus is—as Venus was of yore!  
  A lusty glass of smoky Scotch, and pass the cabin jar; 
 Here, fill yer pipe with “duty free,” and smell the smell o'tar. 
 Oh, hear 'em tramp the planks above—“Ey-hey!” they strain and creak— 
 The music of the blocks, my lads, ‘tis good to hear them speak; 
 But, oh, the sough of swirling seas that from her glide and go, 
 The song of lone mid-ocean winds, and all the songs ye know! 
 So roll along, so race along, so tack and turn and drive, 
 You'll get a taste o' sand and weed, or else—come back alive; 
 You'll take a swim some stormy night, but not for pleasure's sake, 
 Or else, in ninety days from now, a deep long-beer you'll take! 
 So pull away and haul away, and let the chanty rise— 
 'Tis watch and watch for ninety days and nights, and “damn yer eyes!”  
  'Tis watch and watch when on the poop your skipper takes his stand; 
 When far behind and low behind and out o'sight the land! 
 “Sou'-East by East” her course is set, and “Nor' by East” again, 
 With every inch o' canvas on, she cuts the seas amain; 
 Across the world and round the world and bits o' port between, 
 He lives the life that sailors live, McFee of Aberdeen!  
   XV. Wool, Ho! 
  WHEN the clipper fleet comes over, 
 When the scent is on the clover, 
 And the scarlet streaks the blue; 
 When the Western sheds are ringing 
 And the Western men are singing 
 As their toiling teams come through, 
  Then it's ho, ho—Wool, ho!  
 For the busy shears are clipping, and a stir is in the shipping, 
  And it's yo, ho—Wool, ho!   
  When the boys have got together 
 In the warm October weather, 
 When a tempest of their laughter 
 Shakes the hut from floor to rafter, 
 And the bush is turning brown; 
 When the lover gets his maiden, 
 When the Southern teams are laden, 
 And the clip is rolling down, 
  Then it's ho, ho—Wool, ho!  
 For the trucks are at the siding and the railway chaps are chiding, 
  And 'tis go, go—Wool, ho!   
  Get that steamer to her berth there! 
 Get the men of all the earth there! 
 Have those lorries in their places! 
 Have the breeching to the traces; 
 Get your wool-hooks fixed to heave. 
 Get your truck-wheels good and greasy; 
 Let the lower shoot run easy, 
 Have the fall-rope through the sheave! 
  Hey! ho, the Wool, ho!  
 Hitch your belt until she pinches! Is there steam up on the winches? 
  Then go!—Wool, ho!   
  Have the store-hands get their muster 
 Ere the boss begins to bluster, 
 When the winch-man starts reversing 
 And the stevedore starts cursing, 
 And the wharf “stands by” below! 
 For she's bound to sail by Monday— 
 “Wool aboard” at midnight, Sunday— 
  Wool, ho! Wool, ho!  
 Oh, the hungry looms are calling and the markets may be falling— 
  Wool, ho! Wool, ho!   
  Are ye ready? Are ye ready? 
 Heave aboard now! Steady,  steady!  
 Let them stand below the slings there, 
 Let them catch it as it swings there, 
 And their trust be in the Lord; 
 For her skipper's making trouble, 
 And the crowds are working double, 
 And it fairly hums aboard! 
  Does the Wool, ho! the Wool, ho!  
 Yea! the agent's clerk is growling, and the forrard hatch is howling 
  For their Wool, the Wool, ho!   
  You can ring the bell for dinner: 
 We have shoved her cargo in her, 
 And the  Blazer  must n't beat her 
 Though he's flying  his  Blue Peter— 
 Hark! you hear the hissing steam? 
 Now she's straining at her tether; 
 Now they're swinging out together 
 With their noses to the stream, 
  And the Wool! the Wool, ho!  
 Yes! we cursed her and we damned her, but we've rammed her and we've crammed her 
  With the Wool! the Wool, ho!   
  Oh, we slung it and we slammed it, 
 And we squeezed it home and jammed it 
 For the glory of the Trade— 
 For her agent and her skipper, 
 And the comfort of the clipper 
 And the Broker-man's Brigade. 
 It will buy their fowl and truffles and their ladies' lace and ruffles, 
  Will the gritty, greasy Wool, ho!  
  Will the dirty, dunnaged Wool, ho!   
  With ten thousand bales of plunder, 
 And a cable length asunder; 
 With a shouting and a cheering, 
 With the harbor pilot steering, 
 They are flopping down the bay. 
 She's a ripper! she's a racer! 
 But the  Blazer 's got to pace her, 
 And he'll do it—all the way! 
  With the Wool, ho! the Wool, ho!  
 With his engineers and stokers and his able-bodied jokers, 
  And the Wool! the Wool! Wool, ho!   
  While her grinding engine's grieving In the rolling and the heaving; 
 While the sogging seas are swirling 
 With the white-capped surges curling 
 She will thunder on her way: 
 With her piston rods a-thumping, 
 While her heavy bows are jumping 
 Like a porpoise at his play. 
  And the Wool, ho! oh, the Wool, ho!  
 She will rise and buckle to it, she will chew a roadway through it, 
  For the Wool! for the Wool! Wool, ho!   
  As her blocks aloft are creaking, 
 As her steam-escape is shrieking, 
 In the rising and the falling 
 Hear the bo's'n's whistle calling 
 When she strips to face the gale! 
 With the long green track before her, 
 With the storm-clouds black'ning o'er her 
 In the waning starlight pale. 
  But the Wool, ho! oh, the Wool, ho!  
 When she's rolling and she's lifting there will be no cargo shifting— 
  For 'tis Wool, ho! London brokers' Wool, ho!   
  With an albatross to guide her, 
 While the dolphins race beside her, 
 When the restless screw is churning. 
 And the blue a-wake is turning— 
 As she surges on—to cream; 
 As the smoke shoots from her funnel, 
 As the shaft rings thro' the tunnel, 
 As the sea-birds wheel and scream; 
  With her Wool, ho! the Wool, ho!  
 She will romp and roll and toss it; fetch her cargo safe across it— 
  For 'tis Wool, ho! the Wool, ho!   
  When the vintage time is nearing, 
 When the corn ripes in the clearing, 
  Oh, the Wool, ho! the Wool, ho!  
 It will fill their pockets full, ho 
 When its scent has left the clover 
 When the summer days are over 
 And the South wind heads the rain; 
 With a rolling swing to larboard, 
 With a swinging roll to starboard, 
 She'll be clamping down again 
  For the Wool, ho!  
 With her goaded engines grieving thro' the pitching and the heaving, 
  For the Wool, ho!   
  When the bees have stored their honey, 
 When the boys have spent their'money, 
 Ere the shears have started clipping, 
 Ere the stir is in the shipping 
 She'll be romping down the track; 
 With the long green road before her, 
 With the bright stars beaming o'er her, 
 Rolling, rolling, rolling back 
  For the Wool, ho! the Wool, ho!  
 Crowding ev'ry stitch she's got on for the wool that buys our cotton— 
  For the yellow, greasy Wool, ho!  
  The Wool, ho!  
  Ho, ho! The blessed holy Wool, ho!   
   XVI. With Coal to Callao. 
  THEY slewed her in to dump her load, 
 And cleaned her aft and fore; 
 They turned her out to take the road 
 She'd taken oft before; 
 All geared aloft, all free aloft, all tight and trim below, 
 To take the road and make the road, the road to Callao!  
  He kissed the girl ashore he'd found, 
 And said, “You'll never miss me; 
 You won't start weepin' if I'm drowned, 
 But kiss me, sweetheart kiss me! 
 'T is miles to go, long miles to go, eight thousand miles or so, 
 With seas about and seas abeam, and coal to Callao!  
  Around his neck she twined her arms, 
 “Luck speed you, Jack!” cried she, 
 “And from the sea and all its harms 
 Come back some day to me. 
 I'll wait for you, I'll watch for you Though well, dear lad, I know 
 There's other girls and fairer girls—the girls of Callao!”  
  He took his sheath-knife from his belt 
 And said, “ 'Fore God, my beauty, 
 Yon sun from out the sky may melt 
 But  I  won't turn from dooty. 
 This lock o' yourn, this curl o' yourn, 
 Goes with me where I go— 
 Across the world, around the world, to Death—or Callao!”  
  Her eyes were like two shining stars 
 That sparkle through the rain. 
 All sail was bent upon the spars, 
 He kissed his love again. 
 'T was “Come aboard,” and “All aboard, and let her shore lines go, 
 And take the road and make the road—the road to Callao!”  
  They swung across Newcastle bar 
 And sou' by east away; 
 They saw the Cross hung out afar 
 Below the Milky Way; 
 They saw the land die down a-lee, and heard the rollers go 
 Across the road, along the road, the road to Callao!  
  The sun came up on sixty days 
 And set on sixty nights; 
 Beneath the star-lit heaven's maze 
 She kept her course to rights; 
 And while the cool winds kissed her wings, as white as driven snow, 
 She drove the dancing spray ahead—laid down for Callao!  
  They heaved her log for sixty days, 
 But on the sixty-first 
 Her  greasy  cargo went ablaze, 
 And then the hatches burst! 
 'T was “Man the pumps! All hands to pumps; and curse her as ye go; 
 A broken ship, a burning ship, ten days from Callao!”  
  They tied the air-pipes throat and neck 
 With canvas triple-fold, 
 Then passed the wet hose down the deck 
 To flood her flaming hold; 
 All cursing hard, all praying Christ to heed them in their woe, 
 To bring their feared and sinful souls alive to Callao!  
  The yellow smoke that trailed a-lee 
 It clouded in her wake, 
 The steam that tore the lashings free 
 Hissed like a scalded snake, 
 And, blinded, beaten, driven back, they watched the Fire-Fiend grow, 
 And cursed the hour and damned the day they sailed for Callao!  
  Death's Angel bared his flaming sword 
 And smote her hip and thigh; 
 Her foremast splintered by the board 
 Like twig three seasons dry; 
 But when the mainmast crashed to port they sweltered in their woe, 
 To see her useless boats drift by—ten days to Callao!  
  The prisoned gas shot out aflame 
 And licked her mizzen yard; 
 Her broken bones against her frame 
 Jammed home again and jarred; 
 They flung the hurried scrawl adrift to let their fellows know 
 What fate was theirs who'd fought with Death, bound out for Callao!  
  She lurched abeam until the brine 
 Began to lap her rail. 
 Till Doom and she with level twine 
 Were reeving neck and tail. 
 They dragged the rum-keg aft at that, and let the liquor flow, 
 To die the death they had to die, ten days from Callao!  
  But when she gulfed the water in, 
 And when her stern heaved clear, 
 With God's good grace to shrive their sin 
 They rose a British cheer— 
 Then choked like men who pay the debt all men to Nature owe, 
 On either road, on every road 'tween this and Callao!  
  They're swinging coal aboard the  Star  
 'Longside Newcastle quay, 
 And out across Newcastle bar 
 Far spreads the lonely sea; 
 And Jack's fond lass has found a friend to love her ere he go 
 Along the road, the level road, the road to Callao! 
   XVII. The Wool Fleet. 
  WE have other tales for telling, we have other songs to sing, 
 Who have looped the planet's waters in a plait of tarry string; 
 With a tarry rope a-tether, with the sun, the wind, and weather, 
 From the muddy banks o' Yarra to the ice-bound Arctic ring.  
  We have ladled up the oceans in the hollow of a spoon; 
 We have hailed the iceberg sailing 'neath a grey midwinter moon; 
 We have been to greet the devil when the water lifted level 
 And the whirring line made answer to the whiz of the harpoon.  
  You have seen the gas-lamps glisten on the water where they lie, 
 With the southern stars far showing through their rigging in the sky. 
 You have heard the clear bells clanging while the rowdy winch is banging 
 To the squeaking screw's caresses, to the sobbing of the presses, 
 When it's “ Bully in Our Alley ,” and “ We'll meet You By-and-By .”  
  Have you heard the night wind talking to the Wool Fleet ere the rose 
 From the blushing face of Morning, like a dream of lovers, goes? 
 Have you fevered for the lotion of its ever-potent potion, 
 For the calm of open ocean and the freest breath that blows?  
  You must see them at the sun-up, with their redd'ning sails aglow, 
 When the gangs begin to muster and the laden lighters go, 
 When the night clouds wheel and scatter and their crews commence to chatter 
 In the polygot palaver of a dozen tongues or so.  
  They have rallied to the gorging. At the uproar of the feast, 
 They are swooping South to swallow eighty thousand bales at least, 
 With an appetite unsated, with a hunger unabated, 
 For a greedy London market and the markets further East.  
  Oh, the ragged ewes are bleating on the downs among their lambs, 
 Where a squatter-man hath mated them with Tassie's choicest rams, 
 And our shearer men are riding, for there's little time for biding 
 When the noisy North starts knocking and the silken East salaams.  
  So it's “Haul upon the bowl'n!” and another clipper in, 
 With a salt-dried score of sinners who are wasting for their sin; 
 While the crowd that gathers round her turns to cheer the outward-bounder 
 That with locks and fleeces freighted, with our staple product weighted, 
 Slips her slackened hawser gaily in the ramping, rousing din.  
  Have you hearkened to the Night-Wind that hath drifted over-sea, 
 Where the dead men lie a-rocking in their deep graves restlessly? 
 In their weighted hammocks rotten, on the outer ways forgotten, 
 On the unremembered inner ways these countless dead men be.  
  And the Night-Wind tells his story of the ghostly ships that sail 
 By their ghostly helmsmen guided till the dawn-light cometh pale; 
 Of the sallow arms that beckon, of that drowned Vanderdecken 
 Who for ancient sin unshriven, still by storm and thunder driven, 
 In the teeth of tempests horrid sets his course  against  the gale!  
  But a sweeter tale for telling hath the Night-Wind as he rides 
 Of the flaking foam fast-flying from a roving trader's sides, 
 Of the sunlit waters swelling where the sea-man makes his dwelling 
 'Twixt the parting of the oceans and the meeting of the tides.  
  There's a drowsy Dutchman over, who will sing his “ Wacht am Rhein ” 
 When this Frenchman's finished shouting for “ revanche ” and further wine: 
 There's a dainty English clipper, with a dainty, dandy skipper 
 Who was educated early at Newcastle-on-the-Tyne.  
  There's a squat, big-bellied Belgian with a forehold like a tank; 
 There's a Swedish barque 'longside him and the other side a Yank; 
 There's an old New Bedford whaler rubbing noses with a sailer 
 Of the latest modern fashion and the highest modern rank.  
  There's a jaunty White Star liner, and her decks are scrubbed and clean, 
 And her tall white spars are spotless, and her hull is painted green. 
 Don't you smell the smoky stingo? Ech! ye'll ken the Gaelic lingo 
 Of the porridge-eating person who was shipped in Aberdeen.  
  There's a whiff of foreign cooking and a stronger stink of tar, 
 And the rattle of the chop-sticks and “'e dunno where 'e are.” 
 Oh, it's “Crachious! Vot's der madder?” Oh, it's ankles down the ladder. 
 And a woman laughing softly where the cabin door's ajar.  
  There's a pretty girl a-flirting with the second engineer; 
 There's a virgin shy declining skipper Yonson's pottled peer; 
 And you'll find them gaily tripping in their gewgaws to the shipping, 
 “Jah, I lofe you!” “Oui, you lof me! No spik Englees moch, my dear.”  
  So you'll grease the whole caboodle, and the piston-rods you'll shine; 
 So you'll paint em aft and forrard, though they'll blister on the Line; 
 Oh, you'll clean the whole caboodle to the tune of “Yankee Doodle,” 
 But you'll sing another ditty at the Horn, oh, skipper mine!  
  Ye have answered to the message that they flashed along the ooze: 
 Now the ink it drieth quickly, and there's little time to lose; 
 'T is the Philistines' to barter. Take your manifest and charter, 
 Hence, ye trouser-hitching legion, we have business with the Jews!  
  Let the Four Winds rise and whisper as ye carry over sea— 
 Let them speak of drowned dead men, it hath naught to do with ye. 
 Be it yours to freight our plunder o'er their grey bones rocking under: 
 Be it yours to freight our plunder o'er the plunder of the sea.  
  There's another song for singing, there's another tale to tell, 
 When the rim of Heaven toucheth on the upward rim of Hell: 
 When they've spliced the stars together with a tarry rope a-tether— 
 When the dead men all foregather with the sun and wind and weather, 
 Who have tied the seas together, who have tied them very well.  
   XVIII. Yankee Packet. 
  YANKEE packet's down the water— 
 Blow, my bully boys, blow; 
 Third mate loved the skipper's daughter— 
 Blow, my bully boys, blow. 
 Wey-hey-ho! Wey-hey- ho!  
 Blow, blow, my bully boys,  blow!   
  How'd you know 't was a Yankee packet? 
 Blow, my bully boys, blow; 
 Know'd her by the awful racket— 
 Blow, my bully boys, blow. 
 Wey-hey-ho, the cook was jealous, 
 Spiled the soup and bust his bellus— 
 Blow, my bully boys, blow!  
  Once she did a bit o'  trodin '— 
 Blow, my bully boys, blow; 
 Third mate killed the cook at Aden— 
 Blow, my bully boys, blow; 
 Fill her up an' let her go, 
 Down with coal to Callao— 
 Blow, blow, my bully boys, blow!  
  Go she must, or go to blazes— 
 Blow, my bully boys, blow; 
 Shout the good old packet's praises— 
 Blow, my bully boys, blow. 
  Lively Loo  from Boston sailing, 
 All the girls were left bewailing— 
 Blow, blow, my bully boys, blow!  
   Lively Loo  she took my fancy— 
 Blow, my bully boys, blow; 
 So I shipped with Captain Clancy— 
 Blow, my bully boys, blow. 
 Wind abaft—a lively breeze— 
 Sailed away to China seas— 
 Blow, blow, my bully boys, blow!  
  Sad we left our loves behind us— 
 Blow, my bully boys, blow; 
 To be true they long enjoined us— 
 Blow, my bully boys, blow. 
 But we found in foreign places 
 Welcome smiles on fairer faces— 
 Blow, blow, my bully boys, blow!  
  Oh! our skipper was a daisy— 
 Blow, my bully boys, blow; 
 Drove the whole fo'castle crazy— 
 Blow, my bully boys, blow. 
 So we left him ruck and rumbo 
 In the harbour of Colombo— 
 Blow, blow, my bully boys, blow!  
   Lively Loo  was heard no more on— 
 Blow, my bully boys, blow; 
 Went one night a dark lee shore on— 
 Blow, my bully boys, blow. 
 Sharks, they ate the old man's nose off, 
 Bit his ears and then his toes off— 
 Blow, blow, my bully boys, blow!  
  'Longshore lasses came to greet us— 
 Blow, my bully boys, blow; 
 Bumboat men were glad to meet us— 
 Blow, my bully boys, blow; 
 Sold our togs to buy bad liquor, 
 Pawned my pants and popped the ticker— 
 Blow, blow, my bully boys, blow!  
  Got another ship to sail in— 
 Blow, my bully boys, blow; 
 Went to Arctic Ocean whalin', 
 Blow, my bully boys, blow; 
 Struck a 'berg one night and sunk it, 
 Freezin' cold, but couldn't funk it— 
 Blow, blow, my bully boys, blow!  
  Saw a right whale busy spoutin'— 
 Blow, my bully boys, blow; 
 “There she blows!” the look-out shoutin'— 
 Blow, my bully boys, blow; 
 “Lower away!” and off we goes, mate, 
 Sticks a harpoon in her nose, mate— 
 Blow, blow, my bully boys, blow!  
  Off she goes and us behind her— 
 Blow, my bully boys, blow; 
 Got a calf, but never mind her— 
 Blow, my bully boys, blow: 
 Down she dives, our lances shunning— 
 Keeps the harpoon-reel a-running, 
 Blow, blow, my bully boys, blow!  
  Up she comes, and right beside us— 
 Blow, my bully boys, blow; 
 Goes about;—now woe betide us! 
 Blow, my bully boys, blow; 
 Turned her tail—gee-whoop!—and thrashed us, 
 Into fifty pieces smashed us— 
 Blow, blow, my bully boys, blow!  
  Missed the coxswain as we wallowed— 
 Blow, my bully boys, blow; 
 Angry whale poor chap had swallowed— 
 Blow, my bully boys, blow. 
 Second boat, she saw her spout then, 
 Killed the whale and cut him out, men— 
 Blow, blow, my bully boys, blow!  
  Yankee packet's down the river— 
 Blow, my bully boys, blow; 
 Fifteen hundred bales to give her— 
 Blow, my bully boys, blow. 
 Wey-hey-ho! Wey-hey- ho!  
 Fill her up and let her go— 
 Blow, blow, my bully boys,  blow!   
   XIX. The Ways are Wide. 
  TWO women watched on a windy pier 
 (Three turns and a line to pass!) 
 And one was the drunken skipper's dear, 
 And one was a sailor's lass; 
 The full o' flood and the fall o' tide 
 There's little to guide between, 
 But ways are wide where the seas divide 
 Wi' places to bide between.  
   The sun rose red, but the night fell grey — 
  Cheer'ly men, her load-line's low!  
  Who drinks to-morrow may thirst to-day — 
  Cheer'ly men, still cheerily ho!   
  They trailed her out from the rowdy pier; 
 They turned her nose to the Sea; 
 They lent their lungs to a burly cheer, 
 And speeded her merrily. 
 Her skipper rolled to his bunk dead-tight; 
 Her mate in the scuppers lay, 
 With a starboard red and a green port light 
 To gladden them on their way.  
  They lit their lamps on the lonely pier 
 As the twilight brought the rain, 
 And the skipper's dear laughed long and clear, 
 But the other laughed in pain. 
 For woman is woman and man is man 
 And the flesh it pricketh sore— 
 He carries his burden as best he can, 
 She carries her load and more.  
  Two women turned from the windy pier, 
 One hurried her home to weep: 
 But the skipper's dear she was married next year 
 To a bank account—and sheep. 
 The ship that sailed as the ship went down 
 (Three turns and a rope to pass!) 
 Is posted “Lost,” and the grass goes brown 
 On the grave o' the sailor's lass.  
   The dank ooze silts where the deep hulk lies — 
  Cheer'ly men—her load-line's low!  
  For men may drown and women will die — 
  Cheer'ly men, still cheerily ho! .  
   XX. The Passing of Parker. 
  NO, you “ ' ave n't  'eard of Parker,” as was with us in The Bay. 
 Ah' you “ 'ave n't dropped acrost 'im in yer cruises,” as you say; 
 An' you ain't a-go'n to meet 'im, for 'e 's safe an' snug is Joe— 
 If the fishes 'as n't eat 'im—fifty fathom down below; 
 Gawd rest 'is bleedin' bones! 
 'E 'as gone to Davy Jones, 
 An' l 'opes, as passun told us, that 'is soul is with the Lord, 
 For 'e slid down like a plummet, 
 'E went quick an' lively summat; 
 Two shots about 'is feet, mate, an' two above 'is 'ead 
 When 'e dived astarn one mornin' like a bloomin' chunk o' lead.  
  Now, we'll 'ave a pipe o' baccy, an' another sip o' rum, 
 An' we'll drink to ole Joe Parker, an' I'll tell you 'ow it come … 
 We was on the China station, in the 'arbor of Shanghai 
 (An' the cuss o' Gawd upon it for a dirty 'ole, sez I), 
 In the port o' 
 Nagasaki (Ta, that's decent baccy), 
 Up to bloomin' Daddy Stock-Pot where the cold 'd freeze a man, 
 Back again to Yokohama an' the south'ard o' Japan. 
 Then a-cruisin', cruisin', cruisin', 
 For some gory fool's amusin', 
 With Sir Stinker Jones an' Toecaps on a nasty, choppy sea, 
 An' a extra dose o' drillin'—Gawd above! it sickened me.  
  Waal, we're back at Shanghai, messmate, an' that bloomin' place o' sin 
 We are makin' pretty lively when a Rooshun ship comes in, 
 An', of course, that starts the rowin' in the drums an' pubs ashore, 
 For a Rooshun is a Rooshun, an' 'e  can't  be any more; 
 An' as Britons we despise 'em, 
 An' in fightin' times chastise 'em, 
 For our vittles an' our medals an' our kiddies an our wives— 
 ‘Sides, I 'ates them bleedin’ Rooshuns, 'cause they always carries knives. 
 So, from arguin' an' skitin', 
 One fine night it comes to fightin', 
 An' they stiffens out a jolly—though for that I wouldn't grieve, 
 But Ole Toecaps 'ears about it an' 'e stops a week o' leave.  
  Waal, we goes ashore again, mate, when our punishment is done, 
 An' our fellers starts a-boozin' in a pub they calls “The Sun,” 
 An' a Rooshun chivvies Parker, in  is  lingo, so 'e said, 
 An' Joe 'auls off an' 'its 'im—such a wonner on the 'ead! 
 Gawd! there wa'nt a blessed windy 
 But we busted in that shindy; 
 There was broken glass an' bottles, beer an' blood along the floor; 
 Oh, we played the very devil with the woman's furnitoor! 
 There was picters torn an' labels, 
 An' we broke the chairs an' tables, 
 Smashed the mugs an' things to blazes, turned 'er over 'old an' deck; 
 Till you never see, so 'elp me, such a gawd-abandoned wreck!  
  Aye! we gev 'em “Rule Britannia,” but a Rooshun's 'ard to beat, 
 An' we 'eard that more was comin', so we slips along the street, 
 Through the foreign quarter runnin' through them narrer, dirty lanes, 
 For we didn't want no trouble with Old Toecaps for our pains. 
 It was dark as ‘ell an’ darker, 
 So we never knew that Parker 
 'Ad been stiffened in the scrimmage by a flyin whisky-jar 
 An' was layin' on 'is stummick in a 'eap behind the bar. 
 Fust we thought 'e 'd gone to glory— 
 Which 'ad ended up me story; 
 But 'e comes aboard next mornin' with 'is top-piece in a sling, 
 An' Ole Toecaps 'ears about it, an' performs like anything.  
  But it wa'n't no use to Parker, so our ole ship's doctor said, 
 For 'e 'd got a brain con-cushion on the inside of 'is 'ead, 
 An' 'e couldn't do 'is duty for 'is case was “criti-cal,” 
 So they 'ad to give 'im treatment in the blessed 'ospital. 
 'E was gettin' wuss an' ravin' 
 Till they gev 'is 'ead a shavin', 
 For to do a operation that they reckoned very fine; 
 But I want no sawbones foolin' round a broken 'ead o' mine— 
 'Cause they cut that 'ere con-cushion 
 That was gev him by the Rooshun 
 From the inside of his top-piece, an'—the solemn truth I tell— 
 They took out a bit o' skull-bone 'bout as big as  that!  as well.  
  Waal, Ole Toecaps gets ‘is orders, an’ we says “Good-bye” ashore, 
 An' the engineers is ready an' we 'eads for Singapore. 
 Joe 'e feels a trifle better on the fust day out at sea, 
 But the next day out 'e 's goin' an' 'e asks 'em send for me. 
 Gawd! I ain't a cove for cryin', 
 But I 'ates to see ‘im dyin’, 
 So I sits beside 'is 'ammock an' I tries to cheer 'is 'eart, 
 Though 'e's groanin' somethin' 'orrid, an' 'is lips is wide apart. 
 There 's a lump inside my throat, mate, 
 An' my eyes is all afloat, mate, 
 But I sings out, “Cheer up, messmate! cheer up, Parker! cheer up, Joe! 
 Pull yer bleedin' self together, give ole' Davy Jones the go!”  
  Lawd! 'e stares me white an' orful with 'is 'ead all bandaged up, 
 An' 'e couldn't make no answer till I let 'im 'ave a sup; 
 Then sez 'e, “I've got my papers, 't ain't no tearin' use,” sez 'e, 
 “That 'ere Rooshun's put my lights out,” an' 'e glares like 'ell at  me . 
 “Cuss the crimson gory Rooshun 
 As ‘as give you that con-cushion! 
 But it were n't MY fault, Joe Parker,” in a bloomin' funk, sez I. 
 “ No, old man, I know it were n't! ” … An' I thought I'd 'ave to cry; 
 But I 'ate them women's squealin's, 
 So I  cussed  to ease me feelin's— 
 All the dirty furrin' varmints up an' down an' all I could, 
 An' 'e brightened as 'e 'eard me an' I see it did 'im good!  
  “Ned,” sez 'e, “you'll go to Chatham, see the missus an' the kid?” 
 “Joe,” sez I, “I won't forget it nor neglect it, Gawd forbid; 
 But you ain't  a-dyin ', messmate;  you  ain't turning turtle yet?” 
 But 'e shook 'is 'ead and muttered  orful  feeble, “Don't forget!” 
 Fust 'e lay awhile a-dreamin', 
 Then 'e started up a-screamin': 
 “Blarst all Rooshun dogs to blazes!”—ripped the bandage from 'is 'ead, 
 Clawed the bloomin' air a minute, dropped 'is 'ands and flopped back—dead. 
 Then that bloomin' Doctor Carker 
 Comes along to look at Parker. 
 An' I 'ears the sinner mutter 'fore they orders  me  away, 
 “ Too much cuttin' to recover! ” What a bloomin' shame, I say!  
  So they sewed 'im in 'is 'ammock, as accordin' to the rule, 
 'Fore 'e 'd stiffened out, I reckon, or 'ad time enough to cool; 
 An' we 'ears the bo's'n plpin' in the mornin'-watch all-right, 
 'Sif they'd got to feelin' sorry 'cause they kept 'im over-night— 
 For it's run 'em out, an' shove 'em! 
 Get the water quick above 'em! 
 When a Jack is dead 'e 's done for, an' 'is body ain't no use; 
 'E 'as skipped 'is earthly dooty an' 'is troubles an abuse. 
 Sew 'is 'ammock up around 'im! 
 Chuck 'im overboard an' drownd 'im! 
 For there's no one wants to worry an' there's no one got to weep 
 When the chaplain starts “committin' this 'ere body to the deep!”  
  “Fall in aft, there, fun'ral party!”—an' they tells 'em wot to wear. 
 “Mess one to ten, two men from each!” an' don't them two men swear. 
 “Chaplain's ready! Rig yer gratin'! Fire three volleys!”—rattle! bang! 
 Someone shoves the bloomin' body—gone! and no one cares a 'ang. 
 P'r'aps in fallin' that poor feller 
 Struck 'is bloomin' ship's propeller— 
 If they 'ave n't stopped the vessel through the weather or the whim 
 Of the admiral or skipper—an' it plays the deuce with him. 
 What's the odds? He can't come back.. It only means a dead bluejacket— 
 Which for that same matter, messmate, might be either you or me— 
 Gets a double kind o' doin' as they puts 'im down at sea.  
  When I leaves the China station with me “compo” in me 'and, 
 Goes I down 'er side at Portsmouth for a good spell-ho on land; 
 Then I thinks o' poor ole Parker, an' I starts to feelin' blue, 
 For I said I'd see the missus, an' I've got to get it through. 
 “Wot a pretty pickle this is: 
 'Ere I'm bound for Parker's missus, 
 An' the news I've got to fetch her won't be welcome, 'less I lie; 
 An' she'll want the truth or nuthink,” to me bloomin' self sez I. 
 Now, I 'ate to start a-lyin' 
 'Bout a decent messmate dyin'; 
 But ‘ is  dyin’ came so ugly, 'cause it started in a row— 
 “Damn,” sez I, “I'll say it  didn't , and I'll chance it, anyhow!”  
  No, she didn't start to faintin', and she didn't weep nor wail, 
 For they'd told her all about it, an' 'er grief was tired and stale; 
 But I see ole Parker's kiddie, an' I chucked it 'arf-a-crown, 
 An' I sez, “You'll soon be married,” 'fore I took the 'bus to town; 
 But she sez, before I'm leavin'— 
 “Ned,” says she, “I ain't a-grievin'; 
 'E was always kind an' gentle to the young-'un an' to me, 
 But I feel it orful sometimes that 'e's layin' out at sea, 
 An' it  do  seem hard an' funny 
 That they asked me for the money 
 For the ' ammock  that they sewed my poor dead 'usband's body in!” 
 “'Ard?” sez I, “Gawd strike me silly, it was nuthink but a SIN!”  
  Now, them there newspaper jokers they would hardly credit that; 
 But for every such the Navy charges seving-an'-a-sprat; 
 So I tells 'er “Never mind, mum,” an' I gives another quid 
 In a bit o' Parker's tunic (an' me blessin'l) to the kid, 
 An' I left 'em as I found 'em, 
 With their bits o' sticks around 'em, 
 With the flower-pot in the windy and 'is chest agen the wall, 
 An' that gallant little woman bearin' bravely through it all. 
 Gawd rest ' is  bleedin' bones! 
 'E 'as gone to Davy Jones; 
 But I'm goin' back to Chatham when I gets relieved from 'ere, 
 An' I'll ask her— No, she would n't 'ave me. 
 … Take another beer!  
   XXI. The Great Gray Water. 
  NOW two have met, now two have met, 
 Who may not meet again— 
 Two grains of sand, two blades of grass, 
 Two threads within the skein— 
 Beside the Great Gray Water.  
  Two hands to touch, two hearts to touch; 
 And, here foregathered, we 
 Will not forget, may not forget, 
 Where last foregathered three— 
 Beyond the Great Gray Water.  
  Two glasses filled, two pipes to fill— 
 “To all our fortunes, brother!” 
 And as they clink—like so—we drink 
 Fair passage to the other 
 Across the Great Grey Water.  
  For three have sailed, and one has sailed, 
 His sins, like ours, still on him. 
 God sleep his soul! five oceans roll 
 Their long weight all upon him. 
 O God! thy Great Gray Water!  
  But I am still, and you are still, 
 And here our chance has flung us; 
 True comrades we, but … there were three, 
 And one is not among us 
 Beside the Great Gray Water.  
  A breathing space, a biding place, 
 Soft lights and beakers beaded, 
 Then out again and on again, 
 Unminded and unheeded, 
 Across the Great Gray Water.  
  Now two have met where three have met 
 With curses or with laughter; 
 And so our Day shall pass away, 
 And so our Night come after— 
 But, ah! the Great Gray Water!  
   XXII. What the Bottle Said. 
  A BLISTERED span of blazing sand, 
 A burning arch of sky … 
 Despair and Death on either hand … 
 Alone … 
 And so to die.  
  A sandbank in the Indian Sea, 
 With not a patch of shade … 
 An atoll in the awful sea, 
 Outside the tracks of trade.  
  Here write I this … and gaunt fiends too 
 Have written, mocking me— 
  One thrice-cursed wretch of all a crew , 
  One saved of twenty-three .  
  For twenty-two the sharks have ta'en, 
 And hungrily they fed; 
 For twenty-two ha' done with pain. 
 They suffered … They are dead.  
  One yet survives … Just God, the thirst 
 That tears my veins to-day … 
 The last! the last! … 
 Why  last , not FIRST? 
 … And why not yesterday?  
  No sail! No chance! I've tried to pray! 
 The end is coming—close … 
 Christ, ease my soul! Ah, take away 
 That face! … Ah, Nancy Mose!  
  The calm, wide waste! The sky spread clear! 
 All things to jibe my woe! 
 The girl who waits—so dear, so dear! 
 My Nance! I loved her so.  
  And I had sworn to come back soon! 
 … That this should be the last! 
 A boiling surf! A mad typhoon! 
 An hour! And all—the Past!  
  One battered wretch to fight for breath 
 And beat the breakers through— 
 Spared. Spared! My God! when kinder death 
 Has smiled on twenty-two.  
  Not mad … not yet: but deep in Hell, 
 Ten fathoms deep, I've seen! … 
 Kind God, I sinned! Thou knowest well … 
 But I was living clean.  
  Clean for her sake! … 
 Just now I stood 
 Where cool, clear water flows … 
 And rushed to drink! … I fell … My God! 
 … Ah, Nancy—Nancy Mose!  
  I've prayed to Christ to let me go: 
 I've cursed, I've called, I've cried … 
 And all the world may never know 
 The horrid way I died.  
  A heap of bones that wind and sun 
 Bleach whiter day by day— 
 A thing that festers in the sun! 
 A woman far away.  
  Our there! Out there! Ah, pain! I think . . 
 Cool, beaded wines . . iced, frothing beer! 
 Food! Food! Yes, food! Yes, food and drink! 
 … Oh! I am raving … here.  
  Have sucked the vein … have eaten … sand! 
  May Jesus pity me!  
 My brain gone strange to-day … my hand 
 Here signed … of twenty-three!  
  The  Bristol , ship … bound out 
 … Rangoon … 
 June … twenty … forty-three … 
 Hard hit … nor'-east typhoon; 
 All hands … lost … lost … but me.  
  The  Bristol , ship … in case ye find 
 The bottle … tell—if … none but those 
 Who suffer thirst … am going blind … 
 God bless you … Nancy Mose.  
  Floated round, and washed around; 
 Flung a thousand leagues; 
 Carried round and eddied round 
 In ocean's mad intrigues— 
 Grim words upon a shred of cloth, 
 With human blood scrawled red, 
 A drifted tale of wreck and wrath— 
 And thus the Bottle said.  
   But only those can know and care  
  Who fight the Sea for bread  
  The inner Truth, red-written there,  
  Of what the Bottle said .  
   XXIII. A Viking Foray. 
  THERE'S an echo at the ford, 
 Where a sobbing tide out-poured 
 When the mid-sun rose a-noon; 
 There's a clamour on the hills, where the clear sky slowly fills 
 With the glory of the moon.  
  Hear! a rousing clang of steel 
 To the belted Norseman's heel 
 As his corsair hosts come down, 
 With the blood-light in their eyes, with their long swords at their thighs, 
 And their curling beards and brown.  
  Hark! a woman's laugh afield, 
 Where the strong Norsemaidens yield 
 To their War-Man's hot request. 
 Hark! the children's shout afar, where the Wolf-cub plays at war 
 With the cub-wolf's savage zest.  
  They have bared the naked sword 
 To the Saxon and his horde, 
 As a wild wolf bares its fang: 
 And to-night they'll sniff the breeze on their chilly Northern seas, 
 While the fretted rowlocks clang.  
  Oh, to-night they'll scent the brine, 
 With their level oars a-line, 
 And the sea-froth in their trail; 
 While their shining axes gleam, and along the moonlit stream 
 Glides the shadow of the sail.  
  They will wassail long and deep 
 Where the curling surges leap 
 At the whip-strokes of the wind, 
 With the  Dragon  in the lead and her Viking drunk with mead, 
 And his roaring crews behind.  
  As the rolling  Raven  reels, 
 And the  Great Ox  kicks his heels, 
 And the  Were-wulf  strains and snarls, 
 They will gather to the song of their Nor'land, bold and strong, 
 And the sagas of her jarls.  
  'Tis “Valhalla for our brave!” 
 'Tis the guerdon that they crave 
 When the red torch throws its glare; 
 When the glutted raven feeds by the English Severn's reeds, 
 And the spoiler takes his share.  
  Oh! 'tis 'ware, ye English earls! 
 And 'tis woe! ye Saxon girls! 
 And 'tis woe! the Wolf's intent, 
 When he comes to cut a way to his plunder and his play 
 With the captured maids of Kent!  
  With a hauberk and a helm, 
 And with bull-hide and with elm, 
 Ye must gather, ye must band, 
 When the  Eagle  flouts the gale, when the  Black Ship  swings her sail, 
 And her helmsman heads to land.  
  For they love to hear the sledge 
 Of a bitter, biting edge 
 On the stalwart Saxon's crown: 
 For they revel in the game that is played with sword and flame 
 When the heavy hand comes down.  
  Oh, to parry and to thrust! 
 And to cleave us, like a crust 
 Of our rye bread, fresh and new! 
 It were sweeter than the tune of their boldest bardic rune— 
 It were strong man's deed to do.  
  They have harried, they have held; 
 They were robber-born of Eld, 
 E'en as robber-bred we be: 
 We must meet them in the wrack with our strong men back to back, 
 And our ships upon the sea.  
  We will track them, as they go, 
 By our women's wall of woe 
 And the roof-tree charred once more; 
 By our good swords hacked and hewed we will know the Rover's brood 
 Till the young Wolf-cub comes o'er.  
  We must light the beacon's blaze 
 In our English creeks and bays 
 Till the English coast's aglow, 
 For to-night, along the breeze, on their chilly Northern seas 
 Rings the war song of our foe.  
  For the  Great Ox  and his load 
 And the  Were-wulf  feel the goad 
 Of the steady Nor'-west wind; 
 And the  Dragon's  in the lead, with her Viking drunk with mead, 
 And his roaring crews behind.  
  For they swell the runic rhyme 
 While their steady oars keep time, 
 And the great sail spreads the yard: 
 For the sea-foam floats a-lea, and the Robber's on the sea— 
 Keep watch, ye Saxon earls! Keep guard!  
   XXIV. Song of the Southern Trades. 
  THE tall bergs Nor'ward straying 
 Their sisters once have been— 
 White ladies, still displaying 
 Their fading charms serene; 
 Lost maidens, gone a-Maying, 
 Decked all in opal sheen.  
  The dull Antarctic bound them 
 Who were not born to pine; 
 Now, far and fair, around them 
 The brave blue billows shine; 
 The Clipper Fleet hath found them, 
 Loud laughing to the Line.  
  On their swelled bosoms sleeping 
 These gay winds pillowed dream 
 Of dim, cold coasts still keeping 
 Long vigils in the gleam 
 Of Southern lights, up-leaping 
 Beyond the World's extreme.  
  The penguin, standing lonely 
 'Neath weird, snow-darkened skies, 
 Sees wearing Night, that pronely 
 On wearied Nature lies 
 In silence, broken only 
 By groans, and screams, and sighs!  
  Gaunt Northern waves are beating 
 Their wild weight on the bar; 
 Gray fogs gray seas are meeting 
 In latitudes afar; 
 With no glad friendly greeting, 
 No high-hung Cross or star!  
  But here, in worlds grown kinder, 
 The sun-bars burn and blaze: 
 Each bark, with storm behind her, 
 Doth hail the pleasant ways— 
 With sky and sea to bind her 
 A wreath of summer days.  
   The Sou'-east trades are calling!  
 Across the creamy curls 
 The bow-thrown spray is falling 
 In scattered showers of pearls, 
 Or like the tears enthralling 
 Of soft-eyed island girls.  
   The Sou'-west trades are blowing!  
 The withered seaman smiles 
 To feel his strong ship throwing 
 Behind the flying miles: 
 His swift-sailed thought is going 
 Towards the Blessed Isles.  
  Now bears the Austral trader 
 Right gallantly away, 
 The brave West wind to aid her 
 Along the open way— 
 An iron-heeled Crusader 
 Of our more peaceful day.  
  A twin Sou'-easter carries 
 Her copper-coloured crew 
 By palm-clad coast, where tarries 
 The chieftain's war-canoe; 
 Or, fickle, woos and harries 
 The long Malay prahu.  
  Low down their high spars frailly 
 Go swinging South amain; 
 Far down the great hulls daily 
 Fair haven do attain, 
 To dress them glad and gally, 
 And journey out again.  
  Brave Southern Trades, o'erladen 
 With scent of tropic bowers! 
 They tell of some warm Aidenn 
 Where, lulled by opiate flowers, 
 A comely, brown-skinned maiden 
 Dreams idly out the hours.  
  With Bornean spices freighted, 
 With breath of Austral glades— 
 Which yet, mayhap belated, 
 No white man's foot invades— 
 Still sweep they, unabated, 
  The Trades! the Southern Trades!   
   XXV. They Have Bound Us. 
  THE round world glows in its green and rose, 
 And the full buds burst to bloom: 
 The earth is ours with its wine and flowers— 
 But the shore-shot rollers boom;  
  And we'd cramp and choke in the grit and smoke, 
 And our hearts would yearn alway 
 For the sight and smell of the ocean swell, 
 And the splash of the sparkling spray.  
  For the roll and dip of a royal ship 
 In the trough of the turgid seethe, 
 For the ramp and roar of the free winds four 
 And the breath that a man may breathe.  
  The land-bird sings on its high-poised wings, 
 And the coaxing girls are fair; 
 The rich earth teems in its slopes and streams 
 As we laugh and take our share.  
  'T is good to move in the level groove— 
 To drink, and to love—but still 
 Do the spring-tides rise in the moon's white eyes, 
 And her sails will flap and fill;  
  And the sun streaks dim on the water's rim, 
 With the heaving miles before, 
 And the still stars beam on the swirling stream 
 As she heels, hull down, once more.  
  Aye, her yards will sway on the inward way, 
 And swing on the outward track, 
 And we'll haul her through to the land-line blue, 
 And we'll merrily haul her back.  
  Oh! her blocks may creak when the typhoons shriek 
 As the white surf beats ahead, 
 But we'll all come back on the outward track, 
 Or we'll all be damned and dead!  
  By the gull's white breast on the rising crest 
 Of the far, unfathomed sea; 
 By the roll and dip of a royal ship, 
 By a thousand things that be;  
  By the girls we love, by the God above, 
 By the Surge, and the Surf, and the Wind, 
 By the Sun and Air, and the Death we dare, 
 Is the charm of the chains that bind.  
  By those days of yore, when their captain swore 
 In the beards of his canoneers, 
 By the steel that rang in the battle clang, 
 And the shouts of our privateers;  
  By the clean back-stroke in the rifted smoke, 
 When the grappling-irons held 
 By the right arm red of the Rover, dead 
 In the fighting years of Eld;  
  By the pirate's flag, where the mangroves sag 
 To the edge of the dark bayou. 
 By the tale and song of the Rover's wrong, 
 And the deeds of his derring-do;  
  By those black eyes bold on the Coast of Gold, 
 By the fire of the Creole's kiss, 
 By the Hindoo dance and the French girl's glance, 
 The chain of our bondage is.  
  Oh, the seas that roll to the frozen Pole 
 In the bright Aurora's beam, 
 And the seas that sleep by the palm-clad steep, 
 Where the brown-skinned beauties dream;  
  Oh, the waves that doze where the Gulf Stream flows 
 From its head to the warm Antilles 
 Are the books we read and the signs we heed, 
 And the things we  know  and  feel!   
  And the Sea's our place from around Cape Race 
 To the bergs of Behring Strait, 
 And we've Tokio tied to the Firth o' Clyde, 
 With a hitch of the Rio Plate.  
  We have swilled sam-shu with the Chinese crew 
 Of a swab-nosed pirate junk; 
 We have seen Ceylon with her colours on 
 Go mad on an arrack drunk:  
  We have heard the crash of the lightning flash 
 In the dark of the Indian Sea, 
 We have seen men's lives cut out with the knives 
 Of the treacherous Portugee.  
  We have made our call where the ladies tall 
 Of the coral islands laze; 
 We have known Japan, as a sailor can; 
 We have fooled with the dark Malays.  
  We are burnt and brown, with our lips clewed down 
 By the salt of the ocean spume, 
 We are hard and lean, we are none too clean, 
 And the tar is our own perfume;  
  But we've come to drink and to burst our jink 
 With the girls who are fair and free, 
 If we pay the price of our varied vice 
 When she skips on the open sea.  
  Oh, the Spaniard went when his sails were bent, 
 And the Dutchman kissed his frau, 
 And the days were good when they built of wood 
 What they built of iron now.  
  But the Dawn will red and the Day will spread 
 On the track of the Rovers old, 
 Where the galleon brave to her seething grave 
 Lurched down with the Inca's gold.  
  And the sea's  our  ground from the Land's End round 
 To the sight of the Golden Gate, 
 For we've Tokio tied to the Firth o' Clyde, 
 With a hitch of the River Plate.  
  By the roll and dip of a royal ship 
 Is the link of our bondage chain; 
 By her dip and roll from the frozen Pole 
 To the Indies—and round again!  
   XXVI. How Jack Bowlin Steered “Jones.” 
  JACK BOWLIN wuz the joker's name, 
 A sailor chap wuz 'e, 
 Who left his ship, the  Golden Flame , 
 To run away from sea. 
 Jack Bowlin wuz the feller's sign, 
 No greener chap I do incline 
 To think you'd find than 'e. 
 'E kem to graft with Bill an' me 
 Last week at Cockatoo. 
 Sez Bill to me, “I bet,” sez he, 
 We'll 'ave a lark or two: 
 This sailor bloke, what smells o' tar, 
 'E'll shortly find out where 'e are 
 Along o' me an' you!” 
 Sez I, “Ole man, that's true; 
  We'll  put this joker through.”  
  So Bill 'e went an' saddled “Jones,” 
 An' whispered in 'is ear: 
 “Don't break this sailor's bleedin' bones, 
 But buck 'im good an' clear.” 
 An' “Jones” 'e neighs 'is cunning neigh: 
 That 'orse 'e knows 'is blessed way 
 About, you need n't fear; 
 “Jones” was n't born last year, 
 My oath,  you  need n't fear. 
 'E says to Jack, sez Bogan Bill: 
 “We don't get paid ter sleep, 
 So mount yer 'orse, an' then we will 
 Go out and count them sheep.” 
 When Jack sees “Jones” 'e turned jist red: 
 “I ain't sailed 'orses much,” 'e said; 
 “His decks is pretty steep; 
 Port 'ard and stiddy keep 
 Until I gets aboard!” An' Jack 
 'E grips the stirrup tight, 
 An' climbs on “Jones's” blessed back 
 Wrong foot instead of right. 
 Oh! Bill an' me 'ad like ter die, 
 For “Jones” 'e looked as meek as pie: 
 ' E  saw the joke all right.  
  But Jack 'e faced the 'orse's tail, 
 An' as 'e scratched 'is 'ead— 
 “I'm 'anged if I can make 'im sail 
 Starn fust like this,” 'e said. 
 An' then 'e turns an' shouts to us: 
 “Say, messmates, 'old the cuss 
 Until I get his rudder-head; 
 I'm green side up instead o' red!” 
 (Them wuz the very words 'e said.)  
  “I'll get about!” but “Jones” ' e  saw 
 'T was time to take a 'and; 
 'E 'ad n't studied sailin' law, 
 But ' e  could understand. 
 'E put 'is 'ead between 'is knees 
 An' chucked towards the bloomin' trees 
 His busted belly-band— 
 Oh! “Jones” could understand.  
  An' then 'e stood stock still, till Jack, 
 Who 'd took a flyin' trip, 
 In 'arf-a-'our or so kem back 
 An' lit on “Jones's” hip. 
 Jack Bowlin's face was pale as death, 
 But soon as 'e could get 'is breath 
 He shouts: “Shove off! 'Bout ship! 
 Hey! Let 'is blank bow-anchor slip!”  
  “All 'ands aloft!” “His steerin' gear 
 Has gone to—Inverell!” 
 “Jib-sheets blowed loose!”—sich langwidge queer 
 I'm dashed if I could tell. 
 'T was “Stiddy! Hard-a-lee! 
 Wo-back, you silly brute! Let go! 
 Port helm! Stand clear! Wo, Moses—wo! 
 Beam seas! an' blank ground swell!” 
 I'm dashed if I  could  tell; 
 No more could Bill as well.  
  “Jones” 'eard 'is captain order 'im 
 “Go 'ard ahead!” an' went, 
 An' as 'e struck the sunset's rim 
 His blessed back unbent. 
 We see Jack sailin' through the sky, 
 An' may I—strike me dry!— 
 If we know where 'e went; 
 We never got no scent 
 Of where that sallor went.  
  Poor Jack, 'e ain't come back as yet 
 To work at Cockatoo. 
 'E's flyin' still, I'm game to bet, 
 Acrost the 'eavens blue, 
 Or else 'e 's got 'is 'arp an' crown, 
 An' thinks 'e 'd better not come down 
 Till “Jones” 'as shifted through— 
 'T is maybe better, too.  
  For “Jones” 'as never moved, I swear. 
 'Is 'ead between 'is knees: 
 That cunnin' 'orse is bravin' there 
 The battle an' the breeze. 
 'E waits all day, 'e waits all night, 
 'E waits, no doubt, for Jack to light— 
 Oh! “Jones” 'is duty sees; 
  He'll  brave the blessed breeze; 
 My oath, he  is  the cheese.  
   XXVII. A Rhyme of the Roads. 
  They slope away from Greenwich 
 To Mother Carey's ground, 
 The routes of outward-going, 
 The tracks of homeward-bound: 
 From Melbourne pier to Plymouth 
 In level miles are laid 
 The highways of the waters, 
 The streets and lanes of trade.  
  Though no man marked a passage, 
 Though no man blazed the trees, 
 That other feet might follow 
 His footsteps on the seas; 
 Though no man lit the camp-fire, 
 Or carried staff and chain, 
 The pathways of the waters 
 Were ever placed and plain;  
  With here and there, for milestones, 
 A roving sailor's bones; 
 Or, by some coral cross-roads, 
 The Inn of Davy Jones, 
 Where rowdy Jacks make revel 
 And drunken pirates roar— 
 St. Elmo's lights to flicker 
 Their shadows on the floor.  
  Perchance by night they gather, 
 A grizzled company, 
 Who bore the flags of Traffic 
 And War across the Sea, 
 To count the glinting  moidores  
 Deep-fathomed where they lie, 
 To watch the cutlass flashing 
 And drain their beakers dry.  
  The silk-and-ruffle gallants 
 Of Frobisher and Drake, 
 The brawling men of Morgan, 
 Mayhap by night awake 
 To loot the Spaniard's cargoes, 
 To lop the Frenchman's ears, 
 To share again the gleanings 
 Of Rotterdam Mynheers.  
  Oh, what gay converse making, 
 They meet along the roads, 
 These friends and friendly foemen 
 Of storied episodes! 
 These simple, pig-tailed heroes, 
 These wags of Wapping Stairs, 
 These rowdy-dowdy ruffians— 
 Fire-eaters and corsairs.  
  The loads they brought and carried 
 Have left no trace of wheels, 
 No track of stout  caragues  
 Or deep Dutch trader's keels— 
 Of galleons full-freighted, 
 Of clumsy brigantines, 
 Or jaunty India traders 
 With silks and bugazeens.  
  But they have trimmed and travelled 
 From Ganges-Mouth to Thames 
 With their stout hulls, low laden, 
 Their idols' eyes and gems! 
 They scoured the Western oceans, 
 They ploughed the Eastern seas, 
 To sell on London markets 
 Their spices and their teas!  
  They raced for cotton cargoes 
 To merry Mobile Bay, 
 And out of Buenos-Ayres 
 They walked in brave array, 
 With drums and bugles sounding 
 And bouncing cannonade, 
 These Arabs of the ocean 
 Rode out in cavalcade!  
  Across the rolling desert, 
 And haply home again, 
 With rum and sperm and spices, 
 With Yankee pork and grain, 
 They trafficked and they traded; 
 And wealth was any man's 
 With lust of wealth to courage 
 His white-sailed caravans.  
  Though Time shall write his traces 
 Upon the ways of men, 
 The ways of open waters 
 Are even now as then; 
 But where the sunrise reddened 
 Columbus' creeping sail, 
 Now whirls her great propeller 
 The strong Atlantic mail.  
  And where the ships of Ophir 
 Came crawling south'ard slow 
 Now flaunts in pride of progress 
 The painted P. and O.; 
 Aye, where their fearful helmsman 
 First trimmed his lonely light 
 Ablaze the cargo steamer 
 Churns onward through the night.  
  But, circled by the sunrise, 
 And spread beyond his set, 
 The breezy roads and bonny 
 Are rolling bravely yet! 
 Beneath the grand expanses 
 Of guiding, starlit sky 
 The tracks the rovers travelled 
 Still wide, unbounded lie.  
  And till old Gabriel's trumpet 
 Shall echo overhead, 
 And from their place of biding 
 Come up the wakened dead; 
 Till lost ships all deliver 
 Their long-forgotten loads, 
 Still will they shine and sparkle— 
 The splendid water-roads!  
   XXVIII. Roll the Cotton Down. 
  WE sing no song of Right or Wrong, 
 Or War, or Fame, or Duty; 
 Our chanty free it still shall be 
 Of ships, and beer, and beauty; 
  So roll the cotton down!  
 The  Ocean Pride  swings with the tide— 
  Oh, roll the cotton down!   
  Aye, messmates true! Kit's eyes  are  blue, 
 And Bet's a dainty clipper— 
 Black brow, red lip, one day we'll ship 
 With Cupid for our skipper. 
  Ho, roll the cotton down!  
 With bridal veils to be our sails. 
  Yah, roll the cotton down!   
  Long nights, long days, calm, clear and haze, 
 She's kicked and guttered through it; 
 A racing run, storm, wind and sun, 
 And  men  to drive her to it. 
  Now roll the cotton down!  
 Our fight is fought, her wharf-line's taut, 
  We'll roll the cotton down!   
  Now we shall eat good, fat, fresh meat, 
 And take our hard-won pleasure; 
 Now we shall laugh, jest, love, and quaff, 
 And sing our drunken measure 
 Of “ Roll the cotton down! ” 
 Our mint of joy may prove—alloy, 
  But roll the cotton down!   
  True sailors we, let loose from sea, 
 And tavern-turned and townward 
 Blear aftermath of barren path 
 That grades life's journey downward. 
  Bah, rol! the cotton down!  
 Let care go sink—drink, comrades, drink! 
  And roll the cotton down!   
  Before our days they walked our ways 
 And held our hot emotions, 
 Who at world's gates dared Death and Fates 
 And opened up five oceans. 
  So roll the cotton down!  
 All damned are they (as we some day), 
  But roll the cotton down!   
  Black Bet's a queen, Kit's eyes a-sheen 
 Are deeper than blue waters. 
 Red tides of Hell! Our souls we'd sell 
 For these white devil's-daughters. 
  Hey, roll the cotton down!  
 “You love me true?” Then  I  love you. 
  Oh, roll the cotton down!   
  Let preachers fault: all blood is salt, 
 All flesh both red and human. 
 We've songs to sing, we've hearts to fling 
 Before the feet of woman. 
  So roll the cotton down!  
 Life's pleasures pass, fill up your glass, 
  We'll roll the cotton down , 
  Cotton down!  
  Roll, roll the cotton down!   
   XXIX. Nets Below the Gangway. 
  FOR the grey-nurse knows the barb-hook 
 As the codfish kens the line, 
 And the bull-whale's blood is fountained 
 Where the dripping lances shine, 
 And the clumsy turbot wriggles, 
 And the fatted herrings leap 
 When the heavy nets come sweeping 
 From the harvest of the deep.  
  There are trawls for deep-sea dredging 
 Where the Grimsby smacksman goes; 
 There are Lim'rick hooks fine-pointed 
 That the great red schnapper knows; 
 There are nets for shallow waters, 
 Where the brown sand-mullet be; 
 But the net below the gangway 
 Is the net for you and me.  
  So they “shoot” them in the Hudson, 
 In the Thames and at the Tay; 
 So they're “cast” in Sydney Harbour 
 And in San Francisco Bay. 
 Oh, the net below the gangway, 
 It is sweeter for our togs 
 Than the slush about the Bridges 
 Or around the Isle of Dogs.  
  So they cast 'em down at Plymouth, 
 Where the water's deep and cool; 
 So they drop 'em round from Melbourne 
 To the wharves of Liverpool; 
 And 't is pleasant to remember, 
 When we're blind and cannot see, 
 That the net below the gangway 
 Is awaiting you and me.  
  Oh, 't is better that we gather 
 In the meshes of the “trawls” 
 Where a drunken shellback flounders, 
 Where a swearing man-crab sprawls— 
 Than the bubbles at the surface, 
 Than a splashing in the dark, 
 Than a drag-hooked boozer bloated, 
 Or a picnic for John Shark.  
  So ye rowdy, roaring devils, 
 With your roaring, rowdy song, 
 Hitch your trousers to your jumpers, 
 Say “Good-night” and come along; 
 With your vulgar quids a-turning, 
 With your cutties to the lip, 
 And a net below the gangway 
 For to catch ye if ye slip!  
  Little lambs! the old man loves us, 
 And he's loath to see us drown 
 When we've rolled for recreation 
 With our sweethearts round the town; 
 For she's grinding on her fenders, 
 And your head's a rotten spud 
 That she'd use to paint the wharf-piles 
 With a streak of brains and blood.  
  Oh, the owner loves the master, 
 And the master loves the men, 
 And we'll take it as we find it 
 Till we fill 'em up again. 
 So “Old Ranzo was a tailor,” 
 And he ran away to sea, 
 And the net below the gangway 
 Will be kind to you and me.  
   XXX. “Which his Weakness is Women.” 
  WHEN first I met Dolores 
 I swore—a ‘prentice kid— 
 'Er Spanish eyes was glories: 
 Gord 'elp me! So I did. 
 But that was Valparaiso, 
 Before I got to know— 
 Yes, that was Valparaiso, 
 An'  very  long ago.  
   Which 'is weakness is women ; 
  Oh, let us confess  
  It might 'ave been greater , 
  'T would hardly be less . 
  Two sins what 'e'll boast of  
  In 'Ell, we opine , 
  Two sins what 'e'll roast of — 
  That's women—an' wine .  
  She sipped  aguardiente , 
 An' she was hot as flame; 
 I loved 'er good an' plenty— 
 She swore she did the same; 
 She vowed in West Coast lingo, 
 “ Por dios! luf I you ,” 
 An' left me for a  gringo  
 With  pesos  for to blue.  
  Since which I've crossed the waters, 
 To spend my cash an' leave 
 A-courtin' of the daughters 
 Of good ole Mother Eve; 
 Since which I've fooled with women, 
 With women white an' brown, 
 With Dagoes an' she-devils 
 From 'Amburg to Cape Town.  
  I might 'ave saved my money— 
 God knows how hard 't was won— 
 But this is certain, sonny, 
 A chap  will  'ave 'is fun. 
 There's not a man that's human— 
 An' men ain't stone nor wood— 
 Who, when it comes to woman, 
 As would n't if he could.  
  If I could 'arp like David, 
 As always 'arped in tune, 
 My chanty it would echo 
 From Rio to Rangoon, 
 An' places intervenin' 
 Some answer it might find, 
 For every port I've been in 
 I've left my love be'ind!  
   Which 'is weakness is women — 
  Oh, let us confess  
  It might have been greater , 
  'T would hardly be less , 
  For out of each 'undred  
  There's ninety an' nine  
  Is damned and condemned for  
  Said women—an' wine .  
   XXXI. A Ballad of the Flag. 
  THE Lord hath loosed his thunder 
 And let his lightnings free, 
 And in a red robe walketh 
 With Death upon the Sea.  
  Then “Clear your decks for action!' 
 Ye will not fight alone: 
 Your quarter-decks are crowded 
 With Shades of high renown.  
  The blood-and-iron heroes 
 Come out from South and West 
 By roaring guns reveilled 
 From their immortal rest.  
  And from the Dark Sea sailing 
 The fighting English lads 
 Range up in phantom silence 
 Before the ironclads.  
  The Deeper Deep hath hearkened: 
 The sleeping Vikings wake; 
 And Nelson hails “Good morning” 
 To Captain Francis Drake.  
  Now Blake has left the Dutchman 
 All broken, out of line; 
 Now Rodney comes a-roving 
 With Rupert of the Rhine.  
  Now brave old Benbow chuckles, 
 Now Anson's laughter flows,— 
 Lord Howard boweth courtly 
 To Grenville as he goes.  
  Brave Frobisher hath taken 
 Bold Hawkins by the hand: 
 Tom Cavendish is toasting 
 My Lord of Cumberland.  
  Now Jervis, stern and silent, 
 Comes scudding from the Nore, 
 With Troubridge hard behind him, 
 And half-a-hundred more.  
  From out the silted wreckage 
 In wide Aboukir Bay, 
 From off the shallow Sandheads, 
 From Trinidad away;  
  From where the galleons' bones lie 
 Along the Spanish Main, 
 A sound of ghostly cheering 
 Is echoed out again.  
  They come in silken doublets, 
 They come in braid and gold, 
 The builders of an Empire, 
 In derring days of old.  
  They come in Bristol galleys, 
 With mighty sweep of oars; 
 They come in wooden frigates 
 To guard the Devon shores.  
  And some have iron ordnance 
 Be-named of English maids, 
 And some have saucy swivels 
 And burnished carronades.  
  And some are scant of powder. 
 And some are scarce of food, 
 But none have lack of relish 
 For fighting By the Rood!  
  How can your hearts be craven? 
 How can your courage fail 
 When twice ten thousand heroes 
 Sail with you when you sail?  
  For when you serve your Armstrongs 
 And sight them at the mile 
 You'll think how close they gathered 
 At sunset on the Nile.  
  For when the bow-gun crashes, 
 And when the broadside roars, 
 You'll bear in mind how Nelson 
 Once fought his Forty-fours.  
  The flag that floats above you— 
 The flag that Nelson flew— 
 He nailed it to his topmast 
 In heritage to you!  
  The Lord may loose his thunder 
 And let His lightnings free, 
 The flag of Drake and Nelson 
 Shall wave triumphantly.  
  Then “Clear your decks for action!” 
 The fighting English lads 
 Will lay their guns in silence 
 'Longside the ironclads.  
   And He shall leash His thunders  
  And home His lightnings call , 
  And leave the old flag flaunting  
  Still bravely o'er them all .  
   XXXII. You and Us. 
  YOU do your pioneering, 
 You clear the forest lands; 
 To ploughing and to shearing 
 You give your yeoman hands. 
 But we were toilers ever, 
 And we were exiles ever— 
 What was, it yet shall be. 
 We found the way down under 
 To your appointed plunder: 
  We opened up the Sea!   
  Now, what was Father Noah 
 Except a sailor-man? 
 Yes, who was Uncle Noah? 
 Just tell us, if ye can. 
 A shellback, hard and crusty, 
 A shellback, rude and rusty, 
 Who, maybe, couldn't read. 
 He had no chart or compass— 
 'Longshoremen raised that rumpus— 
  He  saved the human breed.  
  And when his cruise was over, 
 Say, what did Noah do? 
 Like any good old rover, 
 He took a drink or two. 
 He'd brought his great tank through it, 
 He'd drove his big tub through it, 
 And fetched her to the pier; 
 So when he'd paid their wages— 
 'T is logged on Bible pages— 
 He went upon the beer!  
  You talk, you talk of horses, 
 Of runnin' brumbies down, 
 Of fordin' water-courses, 
 An' bein' like to drown; 
 You boast of lonely trampin', 
 Of sleepin' out an' campin', 
 Of bravin' wind an' cold, 
 Of meetin' desert dangers, 
 Prospectin' savage ranges, 
 An' starvin' after gold.  
  You had your share of doin'— 
 You had your share to do— 
 But you had wives for wooin', 
 An' homes an' kiddies too. 
 You heard the chink o' glasses, 
 You heard the laugh o' lasses, 
 Had time to rest and play, 
 To let your racked souls borrow, 
 In promise of To-Morrow, 
 Some comfort for To-Day.  
  But  Us!  We crouched together 
 'Longside the weather-rail, 
 An' saw the howlin' weather 
 Slog down the stingin' hail; 
 We heard dark Legions shoutin' 
 When Davy Jones was floutin' 
 Our souls—give up for dead. 
 With brine-cut, bleedin' faces, 
 We manned the weather-braces 
 When  You  were safe abed.  
  We shipped with old Columbus, 
 We signed with Captain Cook, 
 To make the Sea's romances 
 That make the landsman's book: 
 For we were toilers ever, 
 For we were exiles ever, 
 To-Day and Yesterday. 
 You toil—and there you've said it; 
 You toil—and that's your credit; 
 But Us!  We show the way .  
  We found the Western highways 
 That opened up the East; 
 We left, along its by-ways, 
 Our bones for sharks to feast; 
 And when they, later, wanted 
 Dare-devil dogs undaunted 
 To head for Hindostan, 
 With cutlass sharp and handy, 
 We worked and wore the dandy 
 East-India merchantman.  
  We cruised with Bass and Flinders, 
 Boscawen knew us well 
 Before the smoke and cinders 
 Of ocean liners fell. 
 Magellan sometimes praised us— 
 The sea-girt Earth that raised us 
 Was not so narrow then— 
 And Dampier often told us, 
 Though Satan bought and sold us, 
 That we were proper men.  
  We know the Nor'-West waters 
 Where spouts the bottle-nose, 
 Up where the seal-man slaughters 
 For furs among the floes; 
 We know the Straits o' Behrin', 
 We know the place of herrin', 
 The codfish banks know we; 
 We've seen the dugong swimming, 
 We've seen the cow-whale trimming 
 Her great flukes in the sea.  
  You fight with Death, and ever 
 You get the corn and oil; 
 We fight with Death forever, 
 But Death is all our spoil; 
 And to our combat's fitness 
 Let weed and coral witness, 
 Dark coasts and darker waves: 
 Wrack! thirst! gaunt wretches raving 
 Blood-mad, alone, death-craving; 
 Lost hopes and unmarked graves!  
  Despair has been our master, 
 The winds our enemies; 
 We've hobnobbed with Disaster 
 And slept with Mysteries; 
 Storm-flogged and starved and stinted, 
 For pay hot coin fresh-minted 
 By Beelzebub below! 
 Fresh scenes and fleeting blisses, 
 Deep drinks and quick, hot kisses— 
 “Heave up!” “Good-bye!” and go.  
  You plough the lands we find you; 
 You burn some powder, too; 
 But, when your work's behind you, 
 You rest and take your due; 
 But we are toilers ever, 
 And we are exiles ever— 
 'T was foretime, 't will be thus. 
  You  get the virgins, brothers! 
  We  get, God wot—the others! 
 Your cast-offs come to  Us .  
   You make your women mothers;  
  'T is right, 'fore God, the others  
  Should derelict to Us . 
  For you the chink of glasses , 
  The homes, the bairns, the lasses;  
  Your leavings, dregs, for Us .  
   XXXIII. Homeward Bound. 
  WITH tallow casks all dunnaged tight, with tiers on tiers of bales, 
 With cargo crammed from hatch to hatch, she's racing for the sales; 
 A clipper barque, a model ship, a “flyer” through and through, 
 O skipper bluff! O skipper brave! I would I went with you!  
  ‘T is turn of tide, ‘t is time to sail, the flood is outward flowing; 
 Another glass, another shake, and then, my lads, for going! 
 Black eyes 'long shore beam bright farewell, blue eyes with tears grow bonny— 
 Around the capstan head we go—“Yo-ho!” and “Whisky Johnny!”  
  He swings her round— The Ocean Belle —in slow and stately way; 
 Her house-flag flutters main-truck high; she's heading down the bay. 
 Then as his hawser slacks and strains, whilst wharf-men cheer and shout, 
 'Midst bo's'n's pipe and captain's curse, the tugboat hauls her out.  
  'T is “Good-bye, Sis!” and “Good-bye, Sal!” and “Good-bye, Liz and Polly!” 
 Good-bye to all the girls ashore, and all a sailor's folly! 
 Blue Peter flies; the hatches down; our boys have spent their money; 
 “Stand by, my lads, to ease her lines! Stand by!”—and “Whisky Johnny!”  
  Her sails were bent ten days ago; her decks are scrubbed and clean, 
 Her spars are white as seagull's breast, her hull is painted green, 
 Her blocks are greased to run with ease, her yards swing easy too— 
 The time is short, the way is long— she has her work to do!   
  The tide has turned, the wind is fair, the joys of land are over— 
 Whilst ships are made to roll the seas, poor Jack shall be a rover. 
 So sweethearts dark and sweethearts fair, look blithely sad and bonny, 
 And wave your handkerchiefs once more—Heigh, ho! and “Whisky Johnny!”  
  He's cast his lines; the tug's about—her master shouts “Good-bye!” 
 Now some will sulk and some will laugh, but  one  mayhap will sigh, 
 As from the ratlines glancing round, a second as she swings, 
 He sees the land to starboard lie and thinks—of foolish things!  
  'T is homeward bound! 't is homeward bound! We've done by now with grieving, 
 For underneath our feet we feel the Old Eternal heaving; 
 So lend a hand to loosen sail, and dry your eye there, sonny! 
 The girls  ahead  are just as fair—“Wey, ho!” and “Whisky Johnny!”  
  Oh, when he crams the canvas on, and shapes his course away, 
 She dips and dives and shakes herself, like sea-bird at her play; 
 She riots like a wilful child from punishment set free, 
 To feel beneath her buoyant keel the open, joyous sea.  
  For “Homeward Bound!” for “Homeward Bound!” the breeze itself is singing, 
 And fore-and-aft, through shrouds and lines, the melody goes ringing: 
 She gathers speed—“More sail!” he cries; and as he claps it on he 
 Sings softly to the ship he loves, the strain of “Whisky Johnny!”  
  Hull down, at dusk— The Ocean Belle —and ere the dark afar, 
 A line of foam upon her wake, she hails the Evening Star; 
 A watchful shark on guard astern, a porpoise at her bow, 
 An albatross to lead the way—she's cutting through it now!  
  The waves may roll, the winds may rant, the hungry sharks may follow— 
 On hills of water she may pitch, in holes of water wallow; 
 But on her course she yet will keep, that gallant barque and bonny, 
 Until the dockers hear the ring of “Wey-hey! Whisky Johnny!”  
  The last to leave of eight or ten, the first to sight the Nore, 
 She beats the record homeward bound, she leads the fleet once more; 
 And won't the skipper greet his friends, and won't the agents cheer! 
 And when her lines are fast again, oh, won't it flow —the beer!  
  To Cousin Sis and Cousin Sal, and pretty Kate and Polly, 
 To all the Jews and “seamen's friends,” and all the messmates jolly, 
 To foaming pints and cosy fires and waiting blue eyes bonny, 
 She “paddles in” with joyous lilt of “Wey-ho! Whisky Johnny!”  
   XXXIV. The People of the Gates. 
  THE Great God sate in His council 
 On the arch of a rainbow span, 
 With the white Archangel Michael 
 And Peter the Fisherman. 
 In the court of Anointed Martyrs, 
 In the place of the Shining Host, 
 He spake, with the Voice of Voices, 
 A speech of the Holy Ghost:—  
  “I will portion the lands to my peoples, 
 The Earth will I share them anew, 
 To hold with the bowstring and powder, 
 To keep with the marrow and thew; 
 And they that are strong shall be stronger, 
 And they that are weak—let them go! 
 For this is the Word of My Father, 
 And I have uttered it so.”  
  The Great God called to His peoples; 
 The breath of the Spirit's mouth, 
 It shifted them outward and onward, 
 It scattered them north and south. 
 The hail and the frost behind them, 
 With Hunger and Death to fare, 
 They marched in the track of the Eagle, 
 They came in the trail of the Bear.  
  Then the harp of the Angel sounded 
 The song of the Nation's feet, 
 And the battle hymns of the peoples 
 Came up to the Council seat. 
 But out from his place stood Peter: 
 “O Lord, if my speaking please, 
 Thou hast given the lands to the peoples, 
 But what wilt Thou do with the Seas?”  
  But simply the Lord made answer: 
 “It was even the same with thee 
 When thou stood'st in the Hall of Pilate, 
 Three times denying me! 
 Behold how the lands are portioned, 
 To each as he liketh best; 
 But here be a little people 
 Have taken the Isles of the West.  
  “The others have chosen and tarried, 
 And he that is weak let him fall; 
 The others shall take from each other, 
  But these they shall take from them all!  
 For strong in the thew and the marrow, 
 And richer in daring be these; 
 Their neighbours have gotten the places, 
  But they have gotten the Seas!   
  “The others have builded and waited, 
 But these will abide by their keels, 
 To set on the heels of the oceans 
 The empire and sign of their seals. 
 Let theirs be the right of the waters, 
 Let theirs be the keys of the straits, 
 For they are a hardy people 
 Who sit at the Western gates!”  
  Thus spake the Lord in his Council, 
 In the Hall of the shining Host, 
 Who spake with a Voice of Voices 
 The speech of the Holy Ghost, 
 That they who were strong shall be stronger, 
 That they who were little should grow, 
 Still holding the Seas in their keeping: 
 Our Lord He hath written it so.