The Oxford Book of Ballads - online book

A Selection Of The Best English Lyric Ballads Chosen & Edited by Arthur Quiller-Couch

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The whale was struck, and the line paid out,
She gave a flash with her tail; The boat capsized, and we lost four men,
And we never caught that whale, brave boys ! And we never caught that whale.
Bad news we to the Captain brought,
The loss of four men true. A sorrowful man was our Captain then,
And the colours down he drew, brave boys ! And the colours down he drew.
' The losing of this whale,' said he,
' Doth grieve my heart full sore ; But the losing of four gallant men
Doth hurt me ten times more, brave boys ! Doth hurt me ten times more.
' The winter star doth now appear,
So, boys, the anchor weigh ; 'Tis time to leave this cold country,
And for England bear away, brave boys I And for England bear away.
' For Greenland is a barren place,
A land where grows no green, But ice and snow, and the whale-fish blow,
And the daylight's seldom seen, brave boys! And the daylight's seldom seen ! '
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