Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Restoration Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Restoration Verse.  1910.
 
Sailors for My Money
By Martin Parker (d. 1656?)
 
COUNTRYMEN 1 of England, who live at home with ease,
And little think what dangers are incident o’ th’ Seas:
Give ear unto the Sailor who unto you will show
  His case, his case: Howe’er the wind doth blow.
 
He that is a Sailor must have a valiant heart,        5
For, when he is upon the sea, he is not like to start;
But must with noble courage, all dangers undergo:
  Resolve, resolve: Howe’er the wind doth blow.
 
Our calling is laborious and subject to much care,
But we must still contented be, with what falls to our share.        10
We must not be faint-hearted, come tempest, rain or snow,
  Nor shrink, nor shrink: Howe’er the wind doth blow.
 
Sometimes on Neptune’s bosom our ship is tost with waves,
And every minute we expect the sea must be our graves.
Sometimes on high she mounteth, then falls again as low:        15
  With waves, with waves: When stormy winds do blow.
 
Then with unfained prayers, as Christian duty binds,
We turn unto the Lord of hosts, with all our hearts and minds;
To Him we fly for succour, for He, we surely know,
  Can save, can save: Howe’er the wind doth blow.        20
 
Then He who breaks the rage, the rough and blustrous seas,
When His disciples were afraid, will straight the storm appease,
And give us cause to thank, on bended knees full low:
  Who saves, who saves: Howe’er the wind doth blow.
 
Our enemies approaching, when we on sea espy,        25
We must resolve incontinent to fight, although we die,
With noble resolution we must oppose our foe,
  In fight, in fight: Howe’er the wind doth blow.
 
And when by God’s assistance, our foes are put to th’ foile,
To animate our courages, we all have share o’ the spoile.        30
Our foes into the ocean we back to back do throw,
  To sink, or swim, Howe’er the wind doth blow.
 
Note 1. This is Parker’s original naval ballad of which there were a number of altered versions by contemporary balladists. To this ballad Campbell was indebted for his famous naval ode Ye Mariners of England. The text here is from the Roxburghe Ballads, vol. VI, 1889, edited by J. Woodfall Ebsworth. [back]
 
 
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