Page:Departmental Ditties and Ballads and Barrack-Room Ballads, Kipling, 1899.djvu/243

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59
THE THREE CAPTAINS

"Had I had guns (as I had goods) to work my Christian harm,
"I had run him up from his quarter-deck to trade with his own yard-arm;
"I had nailed his ears to my capstan-head, and ripped them off with a saw,
"And soused them in the bilgewater, and serve them to him raw;
"I had flung him blind in a rudderless boat to rot in the rocking dark
"I had towed him aft of his own craft, a bait for his brother shark;
"I had lapped him round with cocoa husk, and drenched him with the oil,
"And lashed him fast to his own mast to blaze above my spoil;
"I had stripped his hide for my hammock-side, and tasseled his beard i' the mesh
"And spitted his crew on the live bamboo that grows through the gangrened flesh;
"I had hove him down by the mangroves brown, where the mud-reef sucks and draws,

"Moored by the heel to his own keel to wait for the land-crab's claws!