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HE fear was on the cattle, for the gale was on the
Tasta, veneb rolce can on the lower does on the
An' the pens broke up on the lower deck an' let the creatures free
An' the lights went out on the lower deck, an' no one near but me.
I had been singin' to them to keep 'em quiet there, For the lower deck is the dangerousest, requirin' constant care,
An' give to me as the strongest man, though used to drink and swear.
I see my chance was certain of bein' horned or trod, For the lower deck was packed with steers thicker'n peas in a pod,
An' more pens broke at every roll-so I made a Contract with God.
An' by the terms of the Contract, as I have read the
If He got me to port alive I would exalt His Name, An' praise His Holy Majesty till further orders came.
He saved me from the cattle an' He saved me from the
For they found me 'tween two drownded ones where the roll had landed me
An' a four-inch crack on top of my head, as crazy as could be.
But that were done by a stanchion, an' not by a bullock at all,
An' I lay still for seven weeks convalescing of the fall, An' readin' the shiny Scripture texts in the Seaman's Hospital.
An' I spoke to God of our Contract, an' He says to my prayer:
'I never puts on My ministers no more than they can bear.
So back you go to the cattle-boats an' preach My Gospel there.
'For human life is chancy at any kind of trade,
But most of all, as well you know, when the steers are mad-afraid;
So you go back to the cattle-boats an' preach 'em as I've said.
"They must quit drinkin' an' swearin', they mustn't knife on a blow,
They must quit gamblin' their wages, and you must preach it so;
For now those boats are more like Hell than anything else I know.'
I didn't want to do it, for I knew what I should get, An' I wanted to preach Religion, handsome an' out of the wet,
But the Word of the Lord were lain on me, an' I done what I was set.
I have been smit an' bruised, as warned would be the
An' turned my cheek to the smiter exactly as Scripture
But following that, I knocked him down, an' led him up to Grace.
An' we have preaching on Sundays whenever the sea is
An' I use no knife or pistol an' I never take no harm, For the Lord abideth back of me to guide my fighting
An' I sign for four-pound-ten a month and save the money clear,
An' I am in charge of the lower deck, an' I never lose a
An' I believe in Almighty God an' preach His Gospel here.
The skippers say I'm crazy, but I can prove 'em wrong, For I am in charge of the lower deck with all that doth belong
Which they would not give to a lunatic, and the competition so strong!
(From 'Many Inventions')
EH! Walk her round. Heave, ah heave her short again!
Over, snatch her over, there, and hold her on the
Loose all sail, and brace your yards back and full-
Well, ah fare you well; we can stay no more with you, my love
Down, set down your liquor and your girl from off your knee;
For the wind has come to say:
'You must take me while you may,
If you'd go to Mother Carey
(Walk her down to Mother Carey!),
Oh, we're bound to Mother Carey where she feeds her chicks at sea!'
Heh! Walk her round. Break, ah break it out o' that! Break our starboard-bower out, apeak, awash, aclear. Port-port she casts, with the harbour-mud beneath her foot,
And that's the last o' bottom we shall see this year!
Well, ah fare you well, for we've got to take her out again
Take her out in ballast, riding light and cargofree.
And it's time to clear and quit
When the hawser grips the bitt,
So we'll pay you with the foresheet and a promise from the sea!
Heh! Tally on. Aft and walk away with her!
Well, ah fare you well, for the Channel wind's took hold of us,
Choking down our voices as we snatch the gaskets free.
And it's blowing up for night,
And she's dropping light on light,
And she's snorting and she's snatching for a breath of open sea.
Wheel, full and by; but she'll smell her road alone tonight.
Sick she is and harbour-sick-O sick to clear the land! Roll down to Brest with the old Red Ensign over usCarry on and thrash her out with all she'll stand!
Well, ah fare you well, and it's Ushant gives the door to us,
Whirling like a windmill on the dirty scud to lee: