The 'Headers In Life & Legend
by Russell W. Knight

"I Was Standing One Day
By Marblehead Bay..."

I was standing one day by Marblehead Bay
Watching the ships go by,
When an old sailor said, with a toss of his head,
How I wish I could tell a lie.

I've seen many a sight
That would jiggle your lights
And they've jiggled me down forsooth,
But it ain't worth a darn to be jiggled down
When it wanders from the truth.

I was on a bark, the Nancy Spark,
Four leagues and a half at sea,
When Captain Snook, with a worried look come
And he sez to me,

Bos'n Smith go make haste
And hemstitch the spanker sail,
And accordion pleat the forward sheets
For it's going to blow a gale.

Aye, sez I, and I rushed ahead
As the skipper himself would do,
Then we hove in low and hit the blow
And murdering lights how it blew.


She blew the tar right off the spars
And the spars right off the masts
Anchors and sails and kegs of nails
All went, by the force of the blast.

The fire blew out the galley stove,
The cook from the starboard poop was hove,
And the lard blew out of the tins.
But all of us feared
When it blew the beard
Right off of the Captain's chin.

Whew, he said, as he ducked his head
And felt around his mouth,
We're lost I fear if the wind don't veer
And blow a bit from the south.

As soon as the words had left his mouth
That wind turned round
With a hurricane sound
And came straight in from the south.
It blew the tar back onto the spars
And the spars back onto the mast,
And anchors and sails and kegs of nails
All to the ship stuck fast.

The fire blew back in the galley stove,
And blew the cook
To the starboard poop.
(Without even spilling the soup).

Then the lard blew back into the tins
And all of us cheered
When the beard blew back
Onto the Captain's chin.

Oh I've seen many a sight
That would jigger your lights
And they've jiggered me down forsooth
But I ain't worth a darn
When telling a yarn
When it wanders from the truth.

-By an unidentified poet

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