Why Sailors Do Not Bathe

One day a bark from Kingston,
Took sail upon the ocean,
It drank from the mariner cup,
A deadly salt water potion.

The sailors on the bark,
Encountered a mighty gale.
It tore away the yard arm,
Shredding every rope and sail.

The captain yelled avast,
Boys she’s going down,
So grab something that floats,
And head for drier ground.

The waves let out a roar,
Splintering the deck and keel.
Into the boiling ocean froth,
The ship broke up and fell.

Sea creatures from the depths,
Saw the crew struggle about,
Rushed to the surface feast,
With hunger in their mouth.

No sailor had bath that day,
Nor for many weeks a’fore.
They smelled of putrid mackerel,
Rotting on the ocean floor.

The shark and other fish,
Could only stop and look,
The sailors were a horrid lot,
No flesh the denizens took.

King Neptune caught the stench,
Bellowing this cannot be.
My kingdom is pristine pure,
I’ll not have them in my sea.

He sent a a mighty wave,
A hundred fathoms high,
Gathering all the sailors up,
It threw them through the sky.

They wrestled with the tempest,
Thrown by the watery hand,
Until they dropped from the blue,
To fall on palm and sand.

The crew lived to tell the tale,
Known in each port and realm.
Repeated to every swabby,
Who takes to sea and helm.

That is why to this day,
No one before the mast,
Will take of soap and water,
Lest into they sea they’re cast.

Copyright: 2008, Donald Harbour

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