We all know the voice of Goliah the Great,
Who never smelt powder, you know,
Who came to the field of battle too late
To give little David a show.
We all know the tale of the chap who delights
To tell all the girls he can find
Of the terrible sights, of the feuds and the fights,
That he fought in the depths of his mind.
On a Century Map, we all know the chap
Who can trace his proud place without fear,
Who claims the drum-tap found him first in the gap,
Though he skulked forty miles in the rear.
O my gallant Captain, whither and away?
Know’st thou Jersey Pirates smuggle in the bay?
Won’t you take me with you for a little fly?
If the Pirates catch you, I’ll shoot ’em with my eye.
Come, Manhattan Maiden, share the sailor’s pains.
If the Pirates catch me, save me from their chains.
Meantime mark the sailor mount the topmast high,
Till his trim tarpaulin almost scrapes the sky,
Luffing to the starboard, tacking o’er the bay,
Thus Manhattan Captains sail their lives away.
Who’s the girl out yonder reaching up so high,
With her jack-o’-lantern darkening up the sky?
Do you think she’s pretty? Do you think it pays
Standing up so bare like, with no polonaise?
Now, Manhattan Maiden, ’tis the Law Marine
No form but that of Captain must on this Bay be seen;
So look at me, my maiden, mark my windward eye,
Neptune his sweet Venus loves no more than I.
Luffing to the starboard, tacking o’er the bay
Thus the loving Captain sails his life away.
What are those far Highlands, blue as Beauty’s
Looking like the islands of an upper sky?
Take me to their summits that I may explore
All the caves and creatures I never saw before.
’Tis a mystic saying: “He who seeks
Fades and then his fate is never heard of more.”
Such a distant prospect seek not now to spy,
Let one loving sailor fill your starry eye.
Luffing to the starboard, tacking o’er the Bay,
Thus the gallant Captain sails his life away.
Where is the Atlantic? I’ve heard grandfather
He sailed on its huge surge from Holland far away,
O take me to the Ocean where the steamer sails,
A wonder to the lubbers and terror to the whales.