Song VII., pp.254-256.

[Tea-Table Miscellany Contents]

ALL in the Downs the fleet was moor’d, 

The streamers waving in the wind, 

When black-eyed Susan came on board; 

Oh! where shall I my true love find? 

Tell me, ye jovial sailors, tell me true, 

If my sweet William sails among the crew. 

– 

William, who high upon the yard, 

Rock’d with the billows to and fro; 

Soon as her well known voice he heard, 

He sigh’d and cast his eyes below: 

The cord slides swiftly thro’ his glowing hands, 

And quick as lightning on the deck he stands. 

– 

So the sweet lark, high pois’d in air, 

Shuts close his pinions to his breast 

(If chance his mate’s shrill voice he hear) 

And drops at once into her nest: 

The noblest captain in the British fleet 

Might envy William’s lips those kisses sweet. 

– 

O Susan, Susan, lovely dear! 

My vows shall ever true remain, 

Let me kiss off that falling tear, 

We only part to meet again: 

Change as ye list, ye winds, my heart shall be 

The faithful compass that still points at thee. 

– 

Believe not what the landmen say, 

Who tempt with doubts thy constant mind; 

They’ll tell, the sailors when away, 

In every port a mistress find: 

Yes, yes, believe them when they tell thee so, 

For thou art present wheresoe’er I go: 

– 

If to fair India’s coast we sail, 

Thy eyes are seen in diamonds bright, 

Thy breath is Africk’s spicy gale, 

Thy skin is ivory so white; 

Thus every beauteous object that I view, 

Makes in my soul some charms of lovely Sue

– 

Tho’ battles call me from thy arms, 

Let not my pretty Susan morn, 

Tho’ cannons roar, yet safe from harms 

William shall to his dear return; 

Love turns aside the balls that round me fly, 

Left precious tears should drop from Susan’s eye. 

– 

The boatswain gave the dreadful word, 

The fails their swelling bosom spread, 

No longer must she stay aboard; 

They kiss’d; she sigh’d; he hung his head: 

Her lessening boat unwilling rows to land, 

Adieu, she cries, and wav’d her lilly hand. 

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