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ANCIENT PORTUGUESE BALLADS.
I '11 tell the story as it happ'd, If you will listen one and all.
The ship had ploughed the long, salt seas, Until a year and day had gone.
Their stores of food were eaten out, And beef and biscuit they had none.
They tried to soak a shoe to eat,
Its skin so hard they could not gnaw.
For who should serve his mates for food, In turns the deadly lot they draw.
The shortest straw the captain drew. I wot it caused him bitter pain : " Little sailor, climb the top-mast, And look for Portugal or Spain."
" The coast of Portugal or Spain On either side I cannot see ; But seven swords drawn from their sheaths Shine bright and bare to slaughter thee."
" Higher, higher, my little sailor,
On the top-gallant take your stand, Try and see the coast of Portugal, Or of Spain the shining strand."
" What reward, my gallant captain ! Both Spain and Portugal I see, I also see three lovely maidens Seated beneath an orange tree.
" The eldest of them sews a seam, Another spins a shining thread,