Some Matelots' Poetry

On Hearing a Sentinel Calling "All's Well," On Board a Hospital Ship.

In yonder ship, 'tis strange to tell,
Each night they cry out, "All is Well !"
Though sick and sad doth there abound ;
Some with consumption, some with wound ;
And other evils far too long,
Thus to describe in transient song :
Then why do they bawl, with ruffian-note,
And strain the lungs, and stretch the throat;
When all's not well, we clearly know
If well above, they're sick below.


Naval Chronicle Jan-Feb 1817.

On the Peterel, or Mother Carey's Chicken.

When the bold Peterel wings his flight,
O'er Ocean's wide and " trackless deep ; "
How does he rest his foot at night ?
Where does the little wanderer sleep.

I cannot tell if the wanderer sleeps,
Or how he may rest his foot at night ;
Perhaps he a constant vigil keeps,
But I've always rued his boding sight.

For I ne'er saw his active flitting form,
Sweeping with dusky wing the wave,
But I mark'd the tempest's rising storm,
And thought of the seaman's wat'ry grave.

Oft the blue sea rises proud and high,
And threat'ning clouds precede the gale ;
Then you may note the dark Peterel fly,
Stemming the breeze with his pinion sail.


Naval Chronicle Jan-Feb 1817.

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