Child's Ballads/285

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Child's Collected Ballads by Francis James Child
"The George Aloe and the Sweepstake", no. 285


A[edit]

THE George Aloe and the Sweepstakes too,
With hey, with ho, for and a nony no
They were two merchant-men, a sailing for Safee.
And along the course of Barbary
[The George Aloe to anchor came,
But the jolly Sweepstake kept on her way.]
They had not sayled leagues two or three
Before they spyed a sail upon the sea.
'O hail, O hail, you lusty gallants,
From whence is your good ship, and whither is she bound?'
'O we are some merchant-men, sailing for Safee:'
'And we be French rebels, a roving on the sea.
'O hail, O hail, you English dogs, [hail!]'
'The[n] come aboard, you French dogs, and strike down your sail!'
'Amain, amain, you gallant Englishmen!'
'Come, you French swades, and strike down your sails!'
They laid us aboard on the starboard side,
And they overthrew us into the sea so wide.
When tidings to the George Aloe came
That the jolly Sweepstakes by a Frenchman was tane,
'To top, to top, thou little ship-boy,
And see if this French man-of-war thou canst descry.'
'A sail, a sail, under your lee,
Yea, and another under her bough.'
'Weigh anchor, weigh anchor, O jolly boatswain,
We will take this Frenchman if we can.'
We had not sailed leagues two or three
But we met the French man-of-war upon the sea.
'All hail, all hail, you lusty gallants,
Of whence is your fair ship, and whither is she bound?'
'O we are merchant-men, and bound for Safee;'
'And we are Frenchmen, roving upon the sea.
'Amain, amain, you English dogs!'
'Come aboard, you French rogues, and strike your sails!'
The first good shot the George Aloe shot,
It made the Frenchmen's hearts sore afraid.
The second shot the George Aloe did afford,
He struck the main-mast over the board.
'Have mercy, have mercy, you brave English[men].'
'O what have you done with our brethren on [shore]?.'
As they sail[ed].
'We laid them aboard on the starboard side,
And we threw them into the sea so wide.'
'Such mercy as you have shewed unto them,
Even the like mercy shall you have again.'
We laid them aboard on the larboard side,
And we threw them into the sea so wide.
Lord, how it grieved our hearts full sore
To see the drowned Frenchmen float along the shore!
Now, gallant seamen all, adieu,
With hey, with ho, for a nony no
This is the last news that I can write to you.
To England's coast from Barbary