Naval Songs & Ballads - online book

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

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He that's condemn'd to th' oare hath first his face,
Eyebrowes, and head close shaven (for more disgrace
Cannot betide a Christian). Then, being stript
To th' girdle (as when roagues are to be whipt),
Chain'd are they to the seates where they sit rowing,
Five in a row together; a Turke going
On a large plancke between them, and though their eyes
Are ready to start out with pulling, he cryes
' Worke, worke, you Christian curres,' and though none needs
One blow for loytering, yet his bare back bleeds,
And riseth up in bunches, which the Turke
With a bulls-pizzle gives him, crying still, ' Worke,
Worke, dog,' whilest some so faint, at th' oare th[e]y dye,
Being cast (like dogs) over-boord presently.
Their slavery done at Sea, then are they laid
In dungeons, worse than jayles, poorely arraid,
Fed with course horse-bread, water for their drinke,
And such sometimes puddles cannot worser stinke.
Then if upon a Turkish roague they frowne,
Or give him a crosse word, held are they downe
Oth' ground upon their backs, whilst on the rim
Of their bare bellies they are forc'd from him
To beare four hundred blowes : their soles oth' feet
And shinnes like payment now and then doe meet.
Why are the Turkes thus cruell, but to draw
Christians from Christ to their Mahumetan law ?
You, who at home in golden pleasures dance,
Wasting both noones and nights in dalliance,
O when these groanes of Christians pierce [y]our eares
To free them, give your charity, and your teares,
Whilst you that are our Christian Princes stil'd
(All jarres amongst your selves being reconcil'd)
Into the field with one knit army come,
To kill this lyon that thus teares Christendome.