Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Full and By - a poem 1927

This is the first poem that we have come across if you do not count the songs that are sometimes quoted in AHVs fiction and nonfiction. We suspect that the artwork with Sea Stories is also by AHV.

Full and By

By A. Hyatt Verrill

Originally published in Sea Stories Magazine, October 1927. Digital capture by Philip Bolton Jr. and Doug Frizzle December 2009.

A ship there was and she put to sea,
Avast! keep her full and by.
The captain paced the quarter-deck
At home a Methodist elect,
A good man he as ever slept.
As she goes! keep her full and by.

The mate was another breed of cats,
Damn! keep her full and by.
He cursed the men and he made them work,
The miserable, low-down, dirty Turk,
And his Billingsgate whisper to those who shirked
Was "Hell! keep her full and by."

The cap'n and mate they supped alone,
Hi! keep her full and by.
The cook brought on an old plum duff,
A measly mongrel kind of stuff
That held plum pudding up to bluff.
Steady! she's full and by.

Now cookie played for the cap’n’s grace.
Four points! full and by.
And he put the pudding plum end up
Toward the cap’n’s coffee cup
So that the mate for plums was stuck.
Ha, ha! keep her full and by.

But the mate was onto cookie’s curves.
Hard down! keep her full and by.
And he told the cook in the next menu
To put the plum end "his end to,"
So he could masticate a few;
Wear ship! keep her full and by.

And cookie did as he was told,
Aye! keep her full and by.
And he placed the plum end toward the mate,
But the cap'n smiling raised the plate
And turning it began to state—
"Tack! she's full and by."

The plum end tacked from starboard to port.
Steady! keep her full and by.
I bought that plate of a wandering Jew,
And I paid him a quarter, Bob, and two,
And I think it a daisy, mate, don't you?”
“Now! is she full and by?”

Then came the blood in the bad mate's eye.
Tack! keep her full and by.
He seized the plate with a desperate clutch,
And he turned it round with a Billingsgate touch,
And he said "Old Man you paid too damned much!"
“And the ship sails full and by."

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As an armed forces brat, we lived in Rockcliff (Ottawa), Namao (Edmonton), Southport (Portage La Prairie), Manitoba, and Dad retired to St. Margaret's Bay, NS.
Working with the Federal Govenment for 25 years, Canadian Hydrographic Service, mostly. Now married to Gail Kelly, with two grown children, Luke and Denyse. Retired to my woodlot at Stillwater Lake, NS, on the rainy days I study the life and work of A. Hyatt Verrill 1871-1954.