Bill

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Bill  (1902) 
by John Masefield

He lay dead on the cluttered deck and stared at the cold skies,
With never a friend to mourn for him nor a hand to close his eyes:
"Bill, he's dead," was all they said; "he's dead, 'n' there he lies."

The mate came forrard at seven bells and spat across the rail:
"Just lash him up wi' some holystone in a clout o' rotten sail,
'N', rot ye, get a gait on ye, ye're slower'n a bloody snail!"

When the rising moon was a copper disc and the sea was a strip of steel,
We dumped him down to the swaying weeds ten fathom beneath the keel.
"It's rough about Bill," the fo'c's'le said, "we'll have to stand his wheel."

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.

The author died in 1967, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 30 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.