Saturday, October 31, 2015

THE SAILOR"S GRAVE

Dad was sitting there watching Dateline on TV, and suddenly began to sing:

Our barque was far, far from the land 
When the fairest of our gallant band 
Grew deadly pale, and pined away 
Like the twilight dawn of an autumn day. 

We watched him through long hours of pain. 
Our fears were great, our hopes in vain. 
Death�s call he heard; made no alarm. 
He smiled and died in his messmate�s arms. 

We had no costly winding sheet. 
We placed two round shot at his feet 
And in his hammock, snug and sound: 
A kingly shroud like marble bound. 

We proudly decked his funeral vest 
With a starry flag upon his breast. 
We gave him this as a badge so brave, 
Then he was fit for a sailor�s grave. 

Our voices broke, our hearts turned weak 
And tears were seen on the brownest cheek. 
A quiver played on the lip of pride 
As we lowered him down our ship�s dark side. 

A splash, a plunge and our task was o�er 
And the billows rolled as they rolled before, 
And many a prayer said to the wave 
That lowered him in a sailor's grave.

(I guess Burl Ives used to sing this.   :D  He said, "I TOLD you i knew a lot of folk songs way before folk songs were popular!)

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