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Dirty Weather / Giles Watson's poetry and prose
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Dirty Weather

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説明Dirty Weather (the ballad of Sir Clowdisley Shovell)‘Twas his emerald ring bewitched me -On Porth Hellick sands he lay -I grabbed a piece of driftwoodAnd I thrashed his life away,And I have lived in agonyThese two-score years and moreSo I curse the day Sir ClowdisleyLay choking on the shore.“Dirty weather,” said Sir ClowdisleyAs on the deck he stood,“I fear the sea may poop usAnd it would do us no good.Our longitude, it is confirmed,We’re just off Brittany.And as I have defied the FrenchSo I defy the sea.”But little knew Sir Clowdisley,He was in for a shock,For his ship, and all the rest,Were just off Gilstone rock,And though some seaman warned himHe had got the wrong locationHe’d hung him from the mizzenFor his insubordination.Association was first to strike,Went down with all her crew,The Gilstone took the EagleAnd it sunk the Romney too,And as the flagship founderedThe hanged man was the lastTo sink beneath the seething tideAnd no one called “Avast”.The order-bawling admiralHad such a store of breathThat he escaped the raging sea,But could not cheat his death.I saw him lying on the shore,His emerald glinting so;I spilt his brains upon the sandWith one almighty blow.An emerald was no use to himSpluttering on the shore;It did him little good on deckOf his stricken man-o’-war,But for a Scilly islander,‘Twas a wonder to behold,So that was what killed Clowdisley:His emerald and his gold.No woman can get rich from kelp,Nor from a seal’s grey skin,And salvage from a merchantman’sAn awful prize to win.An emerald bought me solid stone,And shelter from the wind,But now it is my dying hour,Forgive me, I have sinned.Westminster Abbey is his shrine,The bold Sir Clowdisley,Who would not hear a wiser manWho spoke too bold and free.Bury me in an unmarked grave,Good priest, so white with shock;A better man than all of usFeeds fish, by Gilstone Rock.A brave man was Sir ClowdisleyWho dared defy the French,Who feared not shoal, nor reef, nor seaBut died by this poor wench.And if I had my time again,I’d leave him on the strand;His emerald ring I might have hadBy cutting off his hand.In fact, his finger would have doneHis finger, and no more,But a hatchet was beyond my means,Alas, for I was poor.His brains, they helped him littleWhen they were inside his skull;I left them where they spatteredAnd they fed a passing gull.You captains and you admirals,Pray, heed a woman’s word,Some midshipmen tell you lies,But others must be heard,And hang them not for longitude;It is a tricky thing,And if you founder on the rocksCast off your emerald ring.Source material: Dava Sobel’s Longitude, Chapter 1. The story is in fact a gross libel. There is every indication that Sir Clowdisley was an extremely capable admiral, and the bit about the vicious Scillonian woman is made up too, although Sir Clowdisley's monument still stands on Porth Hellick. There are innumerable pictures of this on the internet, so I have chosen this as an illustration instead: the sea looking fairly ferocious off the end of Peninnis, St. Mary's, with St Agnes in the distance.This song used to amuse my students in the days when I taught at Five Islands School. We even did a plugged-in version, once, I dimly remember...
撮影日2006-03-27 18:19:40
撮影者Giles Watson's poetry and prose , Oxfordshire, England
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撮影地
カメラE8700 , NIKON
露出0.021 sec (1/47)
開放F値f/5.0


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