Sailing Orders by C.J. Dennis

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Through the usual coincidence many ships, including the Australian Naval Squadron, have reached Melbourne just prior to Cup Week.

Up the hook, the bosun said;
   (Ho, me hearties, ho!)
There's heavy weather on ahead
   (Tumble up, below!)
There's dirty weather coming down,
Our course is set for Melbourne town
   And a queer thing that should be!
So show a leg and tumble up, and pick your fancy for the Cup
   With the good ship running free.

Funny thing, the boatman said,
   (Ho, me hearties, ho!)
But when November looms ahead
   (Tumble up, below!)
To Melbourne Port the orders say,
And nothing's left but to obey,
   For the likes of you and me.
And what's a sailor to do, when duty calls, but see it through,
   With the good ship running free?

If I should win, the boatman said;
   (Ho, me hearties, ho!)
I'll buy myself a feather bed
   (Tumble up, below!)
And never put to sea again.
Yet luck ain't kind to sailor men,
   But I'll get my fun, said he.
But every man shall have his lass, and make his bet and drink a glass,
   To a good horse running free, said he,
   And that's the life for me!

First published in The Herald, 3 November 1931

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on November 3, 2013 9:11 AM.

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