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THE CAPTAIN'S COW.

A NAUTICAL ROMANCE.

“ Water, water, everywhere,

But not a drop to drink.” - COLERIDGE.

It is a jolly Mariner
As ever knew the billows' stir,
Or battled with the gale;
His face is brown, his hair is black,
And down his broad gigantic back
There hangs a platted tail.

In clusters, as he rolls along,
His tarry mates around him throng,
Who know his budget well;
Betwixt Canton and Trinidad
No Sea-Romancer ever had
Such wondrous tales to tell !

Against the mast he leans a-slope, And thence upon a coil of rope Slides down his pitchy “starn ;" Heaves up a lusty hem or two, And then at once without ado Begins to spin his yarn :

“ As from Jamaica we did come, Laden with sugar, fruit, and rum,

It blew a heavy gale:
A storm that scared the oldest men
For three long days and nights, and then
The wind began to fail.

“Still less and less, till on the mast
The sails began to flap at last,
The breezes blew so soft ;
Just only now and then a puff,
Till soon there was not wind enough
To stir the vane aloft.

“No, not a cat’s paw anywhere:
Hold up your finger in the air
You could n't feel a breath;
For why, in yonder storm that burst,
The wind that blew so hard at first
Had blown itself to death.

“ No cloud aloft to throw a shade ;
No distant breezy ripple made
The ocean dark below.
No cheering sign of any kind ;
The more we whistled for the wind
The more it did not blow.

“The hands were idle, one and all;
No sail to reef against a squall;
No wheel, no steering now !
Nothing to do for man or mate,

But chew their cuds and ruminate, Just like the Captain's Cow.

“ Day after day, day after day,
Becalmed the Jolly Planter lay,
As if she had been moored :
The sea below, the sky a-top
Fierce blazing down, and not a drop
Of water left aboard !

“ Day after day, day after day,
Becalmed the Jolly Planter lay,
As still as any log;
The parching seamen stood about,
Each with his tongue a-lolling out,
And panting like a dog, —

“A dog half mad with summer heat,
And running up and down the street,
By thirst quite overcome;
And not a drop in all the ship
To moisten cracking tongue and lip,
Except Jamaica rum !

“ The very poultry in the coop
Began to pine away and droop, —
The cock was first to go!
And glad we were on all our parts,
He used to damp our very hearts
With such a ropy crow.

“But worst it was, we did allow,
To look upon the Captain's Cow,
That daily seemed to shrink:
Deprived of water, hard or soft,
For, though we tried her oft and oft,
The brine she would n't drink;

“But only turned her bloodshot eye
And muzzle up toward the sky,
And gave a moan of pain,
A sort of hollow moan and sad,
As if some brutish thought she had
To pray to heaven for rain ;

“ And sometimes with a steadfast stare
Kept looking at the empty air,
As if she saw, beyond,
Some meadow in her native land,
Where formerly she used to stand
A-cooling in the pond.
“ If I had only had a drink
Of water then, I almost think
She would have had the half;
But as for John the Carpenter,
He could n't more have pitied her
If he had been her calf.

“So soft of heart he was, and kind

To any creature lame, or blind, Unfortunate, or dumb;

Whereby he made a sort of vow,
In sympathizing with the Cow,
To give her half his rum; —

“ An oath from which he never swerved,
For surely as the rum was served
He shared the cheering dram;
And kindly gave one half at least,
Or more, to the complaining beast,
Who took it like a lamb.

“At last with overclouding skies
A breeze again began to rise,
That stiffened to a gale:
Steady, steady, and strong it blew ;
And were not we a joyous crew,
As on the Jolly Planter flew

‘eneath a press of sail !
"Swiftly the Jolly Planter flew,
And were not we a joyous crew,
At last to sight the land !
A glee there was on every brow,
That like a Christian soul the Cow
Appeared to understand.

“ And was not she a mad-like thing,
To land again and taste the spring,
Instead of fiery glass :
About the verdant meads to scour,
And snuff the honeyed cowslip flower,
And crop the juicy grass !

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