The Great War

from Great Poems of the World War, an electronic edition


SHE wasn't much to brag about, she wasn't much to see,

A rusty, crusty hooker as a merchant ship could be;

They sunk her off the Longships light as night was coming on,

And we had to go and leave her there and, poor old ship, she's gone.

All that was good of her, all that was bad of her,

All that we gave to her, all that we had of her,

Poor old ship, she's gone!

The times we spent aboard her, they was oftener bad than good,

But bad or good, we'd live the lot all over if we could;

She's stood her trick as well as us, she's had her whack of fun,

She's shared it all with sailormen, and poor old ship, she's done.

Hard times and soft times and all times we've been with her,

Bad days and good days and all sorts we've seen with her,

And, poor old ship, she's gone

She's stuck her crazy derricks up by half a hundred quays,

She's dipped her dingy duster in the spray of all the seas;

Her funnels caked with Cape Horn ice and blistered in the sun,

She's moseyed round above a bit, and, poor old ship, she's done.

North seas and south, and they've all had a go at her,

Hot winds and cold, and they've all had a blow at her,

And, poor old ship, she's done!

She's trailed her smudge the whole world round in weather gray and blue,

She's churned a dozen oceans with her bloomin' nine-knot screw;

She's sampled all the harbor mud from Cardiff to Canton,

And she'll never clear another port, for, poor old ship, she's gone.

Ports up and down, and she's seen many a score of 'em;

Seas high and low, and she won't sail no more of 'em,

For, poor old ship, she's gone!

And chaps that knowed her in her time, 'tween London and Rangoon,

In many a sailor's drinking--place and water-front saloon,

Will set their drinks down when they hear her bloomin' Yarn is spun.

And say, "I sailed aboard her once, and, poor old ship, she's done.

Many's the hard word I once used to spend on her,

Ah, them was the great days, and now there's an end on her

Poor old ship she's done!"