Mother Carey

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Mother Carey
by John Masefield


          (as told me by the bo'sun)

Mother Carey? She's the mother o' the witches
            'N' all them sort o' rips;
          She's a fine gell to look at, but the hitch is,
            She's a sight too fond of ships;
          She lives upon an iceberg to the norred,
            'N' her man he's Davy Jones,
          'N' she combs the weeds upon her forred
            With pore drowned sailors' bones.

          She's the mother o' the wrecks, 'n' the mother
            Of all big winds as blows;
          She's up to some deviltry or other
            When it storms, or sleets, or snows;
          The noise of the wind's her screamin',
            'I'm arter a plump, young, fine,
          Brass-buttoned, beefy-ribbed young seam'n
            So as me 'n' my mate kin dine.'

          She's a hungry old rip 'n' a cruel
            For sailor-men like we,
          She's give a many mariners the gruel
            'N' a long sleep under sea;
          She's the blood o' many a crew upon her
            'N' the bones of many a wreck,
          'N' she's barnacles a-growin' on her
            'N' shark's teeth round her neck.

          I ain't never had no schoolin'
            Nor read no books like you,
          But I knows 't ain't healthy to be foolin'
            With that there gristly two;
          You're young, you thinks, 'n' you're lairy,
            But if you're to make old bones,
          Steer clear, I says, o' Mother Carey,
            'N' that there Davy Jones.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923. It may be copyrighted outside the U.S. (see Help:Public domain).