Naval Songs & Ballads - online book

3 Centuries Of Naval History In Shanties & Sea Songs With Lyrics & Notes

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To God and all good men . . . that hell-borne crew
Of pirates (to whome there's no villanies new),
Those halfe-Turkes and halfe Christians, who now ride
Like sea-gods (on rough billows in their pride),
Those renegadoes, who (their Christ denying)
Are worse than Turkes, Turkes them in heart defying;
These, these are they, that have from Christians torne,
Of ships, sixescore but one, and the men borne
(To th' number of a thousand) to th' Turkes shore,
All they being slaves now tugging at the oare.
Count from what time the worthy Mansfield came
From that divels den (Argiers). . . . Just since that flame
Of warre went out at sea, in that short space
From thence till now these thieves have held in chase
All ships which pass'd the Straights of Gibraltar,
To rob or sinke them ; were they men of warre,
Merchants, or others ; and when worst they thrive
And nothing get, yet get they men alive.
O wretched state of Christian soules so taken !
To looke upon whose torments would awaken
Tyrants, to thrust their armes up, through their graves,
To gard from blowes these Christian galley-slaves.
They that could safely stand but on the shoare
To view a sea-fight, heare the cannons roare,
See Turkes boord English ships, whilest Englishmen
Like lyons fight, and fling them o're. . . . But when
Numbers of big-boan'd runnagates so swarme,
That not one man of ours dare lift an arme
At a Turkes head, the ship with blood imbrude,
And over-mastered with damn'd multitude,
Should any stand so, and get off unwounded,
They would, to see this, bee with griefe confounded:
But on these following lines fasten your eyes,
Your selves may draw foorth all their miseries.
Being boorded so, and rob'd, then are they tide
On chaines, and drag'd t' Argiers, to feede the pride
Of a Mahumetan dog (eight in a row)
(Each eighth man to the Argier king must goe),
And th' eighth part of what's tane is still his prize;
What men he leaves are any-ones who buyes
And bids most for them, for they then are led
■To market, and like beasts sold by the head,
Their masters having liberty by law
To strike, kick, starve them, yet to make them draw
In yoakes, like oxen, and if dead they beate them,
Out are they throwne for beasts and ravens to eate them