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SONGS AND BALLADS
THE SAILORS COMPLAINT.
' You are welcome to London, dear Jack.
What news have you brought us, I pray ?' ' From Portsmouth I have lately come,
And now I am discharg'd from the sea. I have never a copper, brave boy;
I've wages and prize money due.' ' Damme Jack, truly do say,
You will be hard set to get it, it's true.'
' Dear shipmate, I've been here a month,
And cannot get mine for the truth ; On board a man-of-war I went
When I was a frolicsome youth. My king and my country to serve
I fought like a sailor so bold. Now that the wars are all over
I really cannot get my gold.
' To a navy officer each day I did go ;
I've been both hungry and dry. My money I then did demand.
" You cannot have it," they cry. My life I have ventur'd for gold,
My king and my country to serve. Now the wars are all over
Brave sailors may perish and starve.
' Suppose that the war should break out,
Then what will Old England do ? Bad usage we plenty receive
By not paying us our due. They will cavvil from day to day,
"To-morrow you your answer shall have."' ' Damme Jack, I really do say,
For I think they are acting the knave.'
' Then truely I don't mean to rebel Again[st] my good king and his laws.
Did he then know my distress He soon would relieve my just cause ;