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.With quaking sails the little boat
Climb’d up the foaming heap;
With quaking sails it paused awhile,
At balance on the steep;
Then, rushing down the nether slope,
Plunged with a dizzy sweep!
Look, how a horse, made mad with fear,
Disdains his careful guide ;
So now the headlong headstrong boat,
Unmanaged, turns aside,
And straight presents her reeling flank
Against the swelling tide !
The gusty wind assaults the sail ;
Her ballast lies a-lee !
The sheet ’s to windward taut and stiff,
Oh! the Lively—where is she?
Her capsized keel is in the foam,
Her pennon's in the sea !
The wild gull, sailing overhead,
Three times beheld emerge
The head of that bold mariner,
And then she screamed his dirge !
For he had sunk within his grave,
Lapp'd in a shroud of surge !
The ensuing wave, with horrid foam,
Rushed o'er and covered all,
The jolly boatman's drowning scream Was smother'd by the squall, Heaven never heard his cry, nor did The ocean heed his caul.
A SAILOR'S APOLOGY FOR BOW-LEGS.
There's some is born with their straight legs by
naturAnd some is born with bow-legs from the firstAnd some that should have grow'd a good deal
But they were badly nurs’d,
And set, you see, like Bacchus, with their pegs
Astride of casks and kegs :
I've got myself a sort of bow to larboard,
And this is what it was that warp'd my legs.-
'Twas all along of Poll, as I may say,
That fould my cable when I ought to slip;
But on the tenth of May,
When I gets under weigh,
Down there in Hartfordshire, to join my ship,
I sees the mail
Get under sail,
The only one there was to make the trip.
Well—I gives chase,
But as she run
Two knots to one,
There warn't no use in keeping on the race!
Well—casting round about, what next to try on,
And how to spin,
I spies an ensign with a Bloody Lion,
And bears away to leeward for the inn,
Beats round the gable,
And fetches up before the coach-horse stable :
Well—there they stand, four kickers in a row,
I just makes free to cut a brown 'un's cable.
But riding isn't in a seaman's natur- .
So I whips out a toughish end of yarn,
And gets a kind of sort of a land-waiter
To splice me, heel to heel,
Under the she-mare's keel,
And off I goes, and leaves the inn a-starn!
My eyes ! how she did pitch !
And wouldn't keep her own to go in no line,
Tho' I kept bowsing, bowsing at her bow-line,
But always making lee-way to the ditch,
And yaw'd her head about all sorts of ways.
The devil sink the craft!
And wasn't she trimendous slack in stays !
We couldn't, no how, keep the inn abaft!
We hadn't run a knot-or much beyond
(What will you have on it ?)—but off she goes,
Up to her bends in a fresh-water pond !
There I am !--all a-back ! :
So I looks forward for her bridle-gears, ·
A SAILOR'S APOLOGY FOR BOW-LEGS. 209 :
To heave her head round on the t'other tack; c. But when I starts,
The leather parts,
And goes away right over by the ears !
What could a fellow 'do, Whose legs, like mine, you know, were in the
bilboes, But trim myself upright for bringing-to, And square his yard-arms, and brace up his
In rig all snug and clever,
Just while his craft was taking in her water?
I didn't like my burth tho', howsomdever,
Because the yarn, you see, kept getting tauter,-
Says I–I wish this job was rather shorter !
The chase had gain’d a mile
A-head, and still the she-mare stood a-drinking:
Now, all the while
Her body didn't take of course to shrinking.
Says I, she's letting out her reefs, I'm think.
And so she swell’d, and swell’d,
And yet the tackle held,
Till both my legs began to bend like winkin.
My eyes ! but she took in enough to founder !
And there's my timbers straining every bit,
Ready to split,
And her tarnation hull a-growing rounder! . .