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(learned from Martin Choate in about 1961)

(music to go here)

Our bark was far, far from the land
When the fairest of our gallant band
Grew deadly pale and pined away
Like the twilight on an autumn day.

We watched him through long hours of pain.
Our fears were great, our hopes were vain.
Death's call he heard, made no alarm,
But smiled and died in his messmates' arms.

We had no costly winding sheet,
But a cannon shot we placed at his head and feet.
And in his hammock snug and sound
A kingly shroud like marble bound.

We decked him out all in our best
With a starry flag upon his chest.
We have him this as a badge so brave,
Then he was fit for a sailor's grave.

Our voices broke, our hearts were weak,
And tears were seen on the brownest cheek.
A quiver placed on the lip of pride
As we lower'd him over the ship's dark side.

A splash, a plunge, and our task was o'er,
And the billows rolled as they rolled before,
And many a prayer said to the wave
That lower'd him into a sailor's grave.

(from miriam berg's folksong collection)