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But he couldn't lie if you paid him, and he'd starve
before he stole. He'll take the Mary in ballast-you'll find her a
lively ship; And you'll take Sir Anthony Gloster, that goes on
his wedding-trip, Lashed in our old deck-cabin with all three port
holes wide, The kick o' the screw beneath him and the round
blue seas outside! Sir Anthony Gloster's carriage-our 'ouse-flag fly
in' freeTen thousand men on the pay-roll and forty
freighters at sea! He made himself and a million, but this world is
a fleetin' show, And he'll go to the wife of 'is bosom the same as
he ought to go. By the heel of the Paternosters—there isn't a chance
to mistakeAnd Mac'll pay you the money as soon as the bub
bles break! Five thousand for six weeks' cruising, the stanch
est freighter afloat, And Mac he'll give you your bonus the minute I'm
out o' the boat!
He'll take you round to Macassar, and you'll come
back alone; He knows what I want o' the Mary. ... I'll do
what I please with my own. Your mother 'ud call it wasteful, but I've seven
and-thirty more; I'll come in my private carriage and bid it wait at
the door. ... For my son 'e was never a credit: 'e muddled
with books and art, And 'e lived on Sir Anthony's money and 'e broke
Sir Anthony's heart. There isn't even a grandchild, and the Gloster
family's doneThe only one you left me, O mother, the only
one! Harrer an' Trinity College! Me slavin' early an'
late, An' he thinks I'm dyin' crazy, and you're in Ma
cassar Strait! Flesh o' my flesh, my dearie, for ever an' ever
amen, That first stroke come for a warning; I ought to
ha' gone to you then, But-cheap repairs for a cheap 'un—the doctors
said I'd do:
Mary, why didn't you warn me? I've allus heeded
to you, Excep'-I know-about women; but you are a
spirit now; An', wife, they was only women, and I was a man.
That's how. An' a man 'e must go with a woman, as you could
not understand; But I never talked 'em secrets. I paid 'em out o'
hand. Thank Gawd, I can pay for my fancies! Now
what's five thousand to me, For a berth off the Paternosters in the haven where
I would be ? I believe in the Resurrection, if I read my Bible
plain, But I wouldn't trust 'em at Wokin'; we're safer at
sea again. For the heart it shall go with the treasure-go
down to the sea in ships. I'm sick of the hired women—I'll kiss my girl on
her lips! I'll be content with my fountain, I'll drink from my
own well, And the wife of my youth shall charm me-an’ the
rest can go to Hell!
(Dickie, he will, that's certain.) I'll lie in our
standin’-bed, An' Mac'll take her in ballast—and she trims best
by the head. ... Down by the head an' sinkin'. Her fires are drawn
and cold, And the water's splashin' hollow on the skin of
the empty hold Churning an' choking and chuckling, quiet and
scummy and darkFull to her lower hatches and risin' steady.
Hark! . That was the after-bulkhead. . . . she's flooded
from stem to stern. ... Never seen death yet, Dickie? ... Well, now is
your time to learn!
SESTINA OF THE TRAMP-ROYAL.
SPEAKIN' in general, l 'ave tried 'em all,
What do it matter where or 'ow we die,
In cash or credit--no, it ain't no good;