O'Harra McSnort, Sailor

"The night was dark as Egypt's cats,"
O'Harra said to me,
"As on the good ship Dinkybell
We sailed the southern sea.

"The typhoon came upon our tack,
The larboard watch cried out
To douse the sheet and reef the sail
And put the helm about.

"Right then it hit us 'thwart our beams
And wrecked the mizzen top.
The port hatch splintered full of seams
Our keel keeled on the spot.

"Anon we struck a mighty rock,
The crew flew in the air,
To crash again with sick'ning thud
And shriek in wild despair.

"For some were crippled, some were dead
Or had a broken bone,
And I--McSnort of all the crew
Was left, unhurt alone.

"The deck was littered up with spars,
With sails and ropes a-sluice.
I grabbed a swordfish by the tail
And cut the wreckage loose.

"Then rigged a mast, a rudder too
And headed west by east.
The lightning crashed about my head
The waves were foaming yeast.

"All while the demon storm did rage,
Alone, the craft I manned,
Then gentle as a gliding gull
I beached it on the sand.

"But when the sun broke up the dark
And lit the foaming sea
The captain gave a startled shout
For all amazed was he.

"There 'neath us 'stead of oaken deck
Was nothing but the rock
The selfsame rock that wrecked our ship
And gave us such a shock.

"Our ship had split, sunk, left us on
The rock where now we lay
And in the dark I'd sailed the thing
Clear back to Swampscott Bay."

--Author: LeRoy W. Snell
--Source: OCR scan of a copy of text typed on a manual typewriter by LeRoy Behling (with some minor corrections for OCR and typing errors and to clean up the formatting)