Page:Departmental Ditties and Ballads and Barrack-Room Ballads, Kipling, 1899.djvu/240

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THE RHYME OF THE THREE CAPTAINS

This ballad appears to refer to one of the exploits of the nototrious Paul Jones, the American Pirate. It is founded on fact.

... At the close of a winter day,
Their anchors down, by London town the Three Great Captains lay.
And one was Admiral of the North from Solway Firth to Skye,
And one was Lord of the Wessex coast and all the lands thereby,
And one was Master of the Thames from Limehouse to Blackwall.
And he was Captain of the Fleet—the bravest of them all.
Their good guns guarded their great grey sides that were thirty foot in the sheer,

When there came a certain trading-brig with news of a privateer.

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