But what’s this I feel that is fanning my cheek,
The white goney’s wing?—how she rolls!—
’t is the Cape!—
Give my kit to the mess, Jock, for kin none is
And tell Holy Joe to avast with the crape.
Dead reckoning, says Joe, it won’t do
to go by;
But they doused all the glims, Matt, in sky
t’ other night.
Dead reckoning is good for to sail for the
And Tom Deadlight he thinks it may reckon
The signal!—it streams for the grand fleet
The captains—the trumpets—the hullabaloo!
Stand by for blue-blazes, and mind your
For the Lord High Admiral, he’s squinting
But give me my tot, Matt, before I roll over;
Jock, let’s have your flipper, it’s good for to
And don’t sew me up without baccy in mouth,
And don’t blubber like lubbers when I turn
up my keel.
Kept up by relays of generations young
Never dies at halyards the blithe chorus sung;
While in sands, sounds, and seas where the
Dropped mute around the globe, these halyard
Short-lived the clippers for racing-cups that
And speeds in life’s career many a lavish
But thou, manly king o’ the old Splendid’s
The ribbons o’ thy hat still a-fluttering, should
A challenge, and forever, nor the bravery
Only in a tussle for the starry flag high,
When ’tis piety to do, and privilege to die.
Then, only then, would heaven think to lop
Such a cedar as the captain o’ the Splendid’s
A belted sea-gentleman; a gallant, off-hand
Mercutio indifferent in life’s gay command.
Magnanimous in humor; when the splintering
“Tooth-picks a-plenty, lads; thank ’em with a
Sang Larry o’ the Cannakin, smuggler
At mess between guns, lad in jovial recline:
“In Limbo our Jack he would chirrup up a
The martinet there find a chaffing mutineer;
From a thousand fathoms down under hatches
o’ your Hades,
He’d ascend in love-ditty, kissing fingers to
Never relishing the knave, though allowing
for the menial,
Nor overmuch the king, Jack, nor prodigally
Ashore on liberty he flashed in escapade,
Vaulting over life in its levelness of grade,
Like the dolphin off Africa in rainbow
Arch iridescent shot from seas languid
Larking with thy life, if a joy but a toy,
Heroic in thy levity wert thou, Jack Roy.