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Churning an' choking and chuckling, quiet and scummy and dark

Full to her lower hatches and risin' steady. Hark!
That was the after-bulkhead.

stem to stern.

'Never seen death yet, Dickie? time to learn!

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gout street in South. SEVEN men from all the world back to Docks again, Rolling down the Ratcliffe Road drunk and raising Cain. Give the girls another drink 'fore we sign awayWe that took the "Bolivar" out across the Bay!

We put out from Sunderland loaded down with rails;

We put back to Sunderland 'cause our cargo shifted; We put out from Sunderland-met the winter galesSeven days and seven nights to the Start we drifted.

Racketing her rivets loose, smoke-stack white as snow,
All the coals adrift adeck, half the rails below,
Leaking like a lobster-pot, steering like a dray—
Out we took the Bolivar, out across the Bay!

One by one the Lights came up, winked and let us by;
Mile by mile we waddled on, coal and fo'c'sle short;
Met a blow that laid us down, heard a bulkhead fly;

Left The Wolf behind us with a two-foot list to port.

Trailing like a wounded duck, working out her soul;
Clanging like a smithy-shop after every roll;
Just a funnel and a mast lurching through the spray-
So we threshed the Bolivar out across the Bay!

Felt her hog and felt her sag, betted when she'd break; Wondered every time she raced if she'd stand the shock; Heard the seas like drunken men pounding at her strake; Hoped the Lord 'ud keep his thumb on the plummerblock!

Banged against the iron decks, bilges choked with coal;
Flayed and frozen foot and hand, sick of heart and soul;
'Last we prayed she'd buck herself into Judgment Day-
Hi! we cursed the Bolivar knocking round the Bay!

O her nose flung up to sky, groaning to be still

Up and down and back we went, never time for breath; Then the money paid at Lloyd's caught her by the keel, And the stars ran round and round dancin' at our death!

Aching for an hour's sleep, dozing off between;
'Heard the rotten rivets draw when she took it green;
Watched the compass chase its tail like a cat at play-
That was on the Bolivar, south across the Bay!

Once we saw between the squalls, lyin' head to swell

Mad with work and weariness, wishin' they was weSome damned Liner's lights go by like a grand hotel; 'Cheered her from the Bolivar swampin' in the sca.

Then a greyback cleared us out, then the skipper laughed;
"Boys, the wheel has gone to Hell-rig the winches aft!
"Yoke the kicking rudder-head-get her under way!"
So we steered her, pully-haul, out across the Bay!

Just a pack o' rotten plates puttied up with tar,
In we came, an' time enough, 'cross Bilbao Bar.
Overloaded, undermanned, meant to founder, we
Euchred God Almighty's storm, bluffed the Eternal Sea!

Seven men from all the world back to town again,
Rollin' down the Ratcliffe Road drunk and raising Cain:
Seven men from out of Hell. Ain't the owners gay,
'Cause we took the "Bolivar" safe across the Bay?



IT WAS our war-ship Clampherdown
Would sweep the Channel clean,
Wherefore she kept her hatches close
When the merry Channel chops arose,

To save the bleached Marine.

She had one bow gun of a hundred ton,
And a great stern-gun beside.
They dipped their noses deep in the sea,
They racked their stays and stanchions free
In the wash of the wind-whipped tide.

It was our war-ship Clampherdown
Fell in with a cruiser light
That carried the dainty Hotchkiss gun
And a pair of heels wherewith to run
From the grip of a close-fought fight.

She opened fire at seven miles

As ye shoot at a bobbing cork-
And once she fired and twice she fired,
Till the bow-gun drooped like a lily tired
That lolls upon the stalk.

"Captain, the bow-gun melts apace,
"The deck-beams break below,
""Twere well to rest for an hour or twain,
"And botch the shattered plates again."
And he answered, "Make it so."

She opened fire within the mile

As you shoot at the flying duckAnd the great stern-gun shot fair and true, With the heave of the ship, to the stainless blue, And the great stern-turret stuck.

"Captain, the turret fills with steam, "The feed-pipes burst below

"You can hear the hiss of the helpless ram, "You can hear the twisted runners jam.' And he answered, “Turn and go!"

It was our war-ship Clampherdown,
And grimly did she roll;

Swung round to take the cruiser's fire
As the White Whale faces the Thresher's ire
When they war by the frozen Pole.

"Captain, the shells are falling fast, "And faster still fall we;

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'And it is not meet for English stock

"To bide in the heart of an eight-day clock "The death they cannot see.'


"Lie down, lie down, my bold A. B.,
"We drift upon her beam;
"We dare not ram, for she can run:
"And dare ye fire another gun,
"And die in the peeling steam?"

It was our war-ship Clampherdown
That carried an armour-belt;
But fifty feet at stern and bow
Lay bare as the paunch of the purser's sow,
To the hail of the Nordenfeldt.

"Captain, they lack us through and through; "The chilled steel bolts are swift! "We have emptied the bunkers in open sea, "Their shrapnel bursts where our coal should be." And he answered, “Let her drift.”

It was our war-ship Clampherdown,
Swung round upon the tide,

Her two dumb guns glared south and north,
And the blood and the bubbling steam ran forth,
And she ground the cruiser's side.

"Captain, they cry, the fight is done, "They bid you send your sword." And he answered, "Grapple her stern and bow. "They have asked for the steel. They shall have

it now;

"Out cutlasses and board!"

It was our war-ship Clampherdown
Spewed up four hundred men;
And the scalded stokers yelped delight,

As they rolled in the waist and heard the fight,
Stamp o'er their steel-walled pen.

They cleared the cruiser end to end
From conning-tower to hold.

They fought as they fought in Nelson's fleet; They were stripped to the waist, they were bare to the feet.

As it was in the days of old.

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