Bill (1902) by John Masefield

Bill  (1902)
by John Masefield

He lay dead on the cluttered deck and stared at the cold skies,
With never a friend to mourn for him nor a hand to close his eyes:
"Bill, he's dead," was all they said; "he's dead, 'n' there he lies."

The mate came forrard at seven bells and spat across the rail:
"Just lash him up wi' some holystone in a clout o' rotten sail,
'N', rot ye, get a gait on ye, ye're slower'n a bloody snail!"

When the rising moon was a copper disc and the sea was a strip of steel,
We dumped him down to the swaying weeds ten fathom beneath the keel.
"It's rough about Bill," the fo'c's'le said, "we'll have to stand his wheel."

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