John Pierpont

The Seaman's Lay

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List, shipmates, to a seamen's lay:
Jack Temperance and Jack Grog
Are gallant sailors in their way,
As ever hove a log:
But Grog's a lad of fits and starts;
You'll find him sharp and slow;
Now hot, now cold: his spirits up,
He's all for dash and blow.


But if at times he's sharp and quick,
'T is soon he'll flag and tire;
And then so hot, he'd eat Old Nick,
Or set the sea on fire!
And though you hear him brag full oft
He bangs the other hollow,
I never knew him go aloft,
When Temperance would not follow.


But when he's had the drop he likes--
He loves his glass we know--
The squall comes on, the boatswain pipes
All hands to reef and stow:
'T is then aloft, and lying out,
To reef, or stow, or bend,
Jack Temperance has the ready hand
To stay his falling friend.


Oh! Temperance is a seaman bold
As ever trod the deck;
And oft, when seas like mountains roll'd,
Has saved the ship from wreck;
And when there rolls that mountain-sea,
All theatening to o'erwhelm,
White breakers thundering on the lee,
Let Temperance take the helm.

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