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THE SAYLORS COMPLAINT 233
THE SAYLORS COMPLAINT; OR, THE TRUE CHARACTER OF THE PURSER OF A SHIP.
To the Tune of Iantha, etc.
Of all the curst plagues that e'er Fate did decree To vex, plague, and punish poor sailors at sea, There's none to compare with the purser, that evil Who's worse than a jailer, a bum, or a devil, Sure when he was framed Dame Nature lay dying; Hell then took a purge, hell then took a purge, and Pluto sh—t him flying.
As his name foully stinks, so his butter rank doth smell, Both hateful to sailors, scarce good enough for hell : The nation allows men what's fitting to eat, But he, curse attend him, gives to us musty meat; With bisket that's mouldy, hard stinking Suffolk cheese, And pork cut in pounds, and pork cut in pounds, for to eat with our pease.
Because it is cut off the best fatted hogs He thinks it too good for eternal lowsie dogs. Then our urine to purge, that the men may piss clear, Instead of what's better, his petty-warrant beer Is by him allowed, which makes us complain ; Which he ne'er regards, which he ne'er regards, so he gets but the gain.
His oatmeal, or grout, known by the name burgooe, Is fitting for nothing but make a sailor spew : His bruis, no better than common kitchen-grease, The sailors are forced to eat with their pease : Such beef-fat, so nasty, we constantly use, That's but fit for the mast, that's but fit for the mast, or the greasing of shoes.
When a sailor's oblig'd to make use of his store He then must expect to be miserable poor : For consider what price for their goods we do pay ; He has treble worth of each man, I dare say. Such dealings as these are not just, I am sure; Yet such hardships as these, yet such hardships as these we do daily endure.