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Sunday, January 18, 2009

THE WRECK OF THE MARGARET LA SALLE

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THE WRECK OF THE MARGARET LA SALLE


What’s a man gotta do for a drink around here
And he banged his fist on the bar
The bartender poured him a shot and a beer
Before the stranger could take it too far

Now listen my friends and I’ll tell you a tale
Of passion and pathos and pain
About how the good ship Margaret la Salle
Went down with all hands in the rain

Three points to starboard the old captain wailed
We’re heading into a blow
Batten the hatches and reef all the sails
We’re taking on water below

There’s rocks on the port side there’s rocks all around
Cried the lookout up on the mast
Steer hard to starboard or we’ll certainly be drowned
And we’ll all soon be breathing our last

The mate turned the wheel and the ship came about
Just missing the rocks to the East
But it wasn’t the same for the rocks in the South
They grinned like my granny’s old teeth

The rest of the bar was now crowded around
To hear of the crew’s dreadful plight
They refilled his glass and made not a sound
As he told of that harrowing night

A wave picked us up and smashed us back down
With such force that our lookout was flung
All the way back to his house in the town
And there on his weather vane hung

But the storm wasn’t through with the Margaret la Salle
She had plenty more tricks up her sleeve
The captain ordered us into the boats
But we were too frightened to leave

Get into those boats he yelled to the crew
Or you’ll nere see yer loved ones again
But that was something we just couldn’t do
And we stayed on the deck in the rain

The captain and ten of his most trusting men
Separated themselves from the crew
We assume that they came to a terrible end
For they soon disappeared from our view

Here the stranger paused with his hand on his heart
For the death of the captain and men
Then he drank down his beer and took up his part
And plunged in to his story again

There were only three of us left on the deck
The cook and the bosun and me
Then the ship and the rocks made a terrible wreck
And all of us drowned in the sea

Now wait just a minute the assembly cried
You’re not dead, you’re standing right here
You think that I don’t know when I died
And he fixed us in place with a sneer

Then his image wavered and faded and dimmed
Until we couldn’t believe what we saw
Just a place at the bar where the stranger had been
And a funny wet spot on the floor

For there on the floor was a puddle of beer
Still steaming and foamy and warm
In the shape of a sailor, eyes widened with fear
Floating and drowned in a storm

I’m a sailor myself and I know what I know
And I’ve heard many a marvelous tale
But I never heard of as dreadful a blow
As the wreck of the Margaret la Salle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by tobiash on 01/18 at 05:55 PM | Permalink
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