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Poem by Robert Stephen Hawker


A Croon on Hennacliff


THUS said the rushing raven
  Unto his hungry mate,
Ho! gossip! for Bude Haven:
  There be corpses six or eight.
Cawk! cawk! the crew and skipper
  Are wallowing in the sea:
So there s a savory supper
  For my old dame and me.

Cawk! gaffer! thou art dreaming,
  The shore hath wreckers bold;	
Would rend the yelling seamen,
  From the clutching billows hold.
Cawk! cawk! they d bound for booty
  Into the dragons den:
And shout, for death or duty,	
  If the prey were drowning men.

Loud laughed the listening surges
  At the guess our grandame gave:
You might call them Boanerges,
  From the thunder of their wave.
And mockery followed after
  The sea-birds jeering brood:
That filled the skies with laughter,
  From Lundy Light to Bude.

Cawk! cawk! then said the raven,
  I am fourscore years and ten,
Yet never in Bude Haven
  Did I croak for rescued men.
They will save the captains girdle,
  And shirt, if shirt there be;
But leave their blood to curdle
  For my old dame and me.

So said the rushing raven
  Unto his hungry mate,
Ho! gossip! for Bude Haven:
  There be corpses six or eight.
Cawk! cawk! the crew and skipper
  Are wallowing in the sea:
O, what a savory supper
  For my old dame and me.



Robert Stephen Hawker


Robert Stephen Hawker's other poems:
  1. The Death-Race
  2. Featherstones Doom
  3. The Scroll
  4. The Tamar Spring
  5. Dupath Well


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