Monday, May 14, 2012

Literature: "Sam Swipes"

Sam Swipes, he was a seaman true,
As bold and brave a tar
As e'er was dressed in navy blue
On board a man-of-war.

One fault he had - on sea or land
He was a thirsty dog;
For Sammy never could withstand
A glass or so of grog.

He always liked to be at sea;
For e'en on shore, the rover,
If not as drunk as he could be,
Was always half seas over.

The gunner, who was apt to scoff,
With jokes most aptly timed,
Said Sam might any day go off,
'Cause he was always primed.

Sam didn't want a feeling heart,
Though never seen to cry;
Yet tears were always on the start -
The drop was in his eye.

At fighting, Sam was never shy,
A most undoubted merit;
His courage never failed, and why?
He was so full of spirit.

In action he had lost an eye,
But that gave him no trouble;
Quoth Sam "I have no cause to sigh:
I'm always seeing double."

A shot from an unlucky gun
Put Sam on timber pegs;
It didn't signify to one
Who ne'er could keep his legs.

One night he filled a pail with grog,
Determined he would suck it;
He drained it dry, the thirsty dog!
Hicupped, and kicked the bucket.

~ Captain Frederick Marryat

Header: Two Pirates in Conversation via Under the Black Flag (see sidebar)

4 comments:

Timmy! said...

Ahoy, Pauline! That's a good one!

Pauline said...

I love this poem and I imagine that Captain Marryat knew a Sam Swipes or two in his time at sea. Cheers, Sam!

Danielle Thorne said...

Hilarious! Had to share this with my pirating friends and print it out for myself! Thank you!

Pauline said...

Thanks, Danielle. Marryat certainly had a way of describing the common tar with both humor and affection that still rings true today.