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The Seven Seas

Rudyard Kipling

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Book Excerpt: 
. . . the jolly, jolly mariners,
Plucking at their harps, and they plucked unhandily:
"Our thumbs are rough and tarred,
And the tune is something hard—
May we lift a Deep-sea Chantey such as seamen use at sea?"
Then said the souls of the gentlemen-adventurers—[24]
Fettered wrist to bar all for red iniquity:
"Ho, we revel in our chains
O'er the sorrow that was Spain's;
Heave or sink it, leave or drink it, we were masters of the sea!"
Up spake the soul of a gray Gothavn 'speckshioner—
(He that led the flinching in the fleets of fair Dundee):
"Ho, the ringer and right whale,
And the fish we struck for sale,
Will Ye whelm them all for wantonness that wallow in the sea?"
Loud sang the souls of the jolly, jolly mariners,
Crying: "Under Heaven, here is neither lead nor lea!
Must we sing for evermore
On the windless, glassy floor?
Take back your golden fiddles and we'll beat to . . . Read More

Community Reviews

I adore Kipling. I wrote my dissertation on The Jungle Books and I have an unhealthily large collection of antique Kipling's (including a first edition The Jungle Book and a first edition The Second Jungle Book. The Seven Seas is one of those old books I've collected and have darted in and out of in


I enjoyed this collection of poetry.

Aside from a few works like “L’Envoi,” “The Song of the Dead,” and “The Merchantmen,” I had a hard time detecting any authorial intention. On the whole it was a pleasant a fast-moving little book of sailors’ rhymes, with occasional hints of profound loyalty—blind or genuine—to the English crown and