Harris Tobias harristob@gmail.

com THE WRECK OF THE MARGARET LA SALLE What’s a man gotta do for a drink around here The stranger 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 your old granny’s 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

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