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60 SEA SONGS.
Old Jem at the tiller half-dozed, as steady strong trade-winds behind,
Day and night we rolled on like the doomed Flying Dutchman that no port can find ;
We pulled after some twenty spouters, but speared but just six of the score,
And, the less there was oil in our hold, the harder the riled skipper swore.
We were sulky and glum; every watch yet more sulky
and glummer we grew; And whether our cruise was to last on till doomsday,
why, none of us knew ; So we growled and growled deeper at all, junk and
biscuit and skipper and tub ; But how, without quite mutineering, to trim course for
land, was the rub ; The trades drove us easy enough and our old lass she
followed her nose, While we all lay about with just no more to do than
to grumble and doze, And see with our eyes half asleep, a near white strand
beyond a reefs roar, And the fresh longed-for bread-fruit-tree groves, golden-fruited right down to the shore;