Ballad of the Shipworms

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
An ode (of sorts) to shipworms, also known as Teredo worms. They're a kind of saltwater clam, which make their living by eating wood left in saltwater, eg. ships. The little beasties are much to be feared . . .

Submitted: March 22, 2012

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Submitted: March 22, 2012



Sure, sailors are a hardy lot, 

We're used to storms and gales. 

We don't mind vittles full of rot, 

Or patches in our sails. 

We're undisturbed by battle's pain, 

Don't care about the waves; 

Yet one thing is the sailor's bane -- 

'Twill send us to our graves. 


One foe alone we sailors fear, 

They're Satan's own design; 

The toughest captain's brought to tears 

By these Terrors of the Brine. 

They'll sink a ship from 'neath your feet, 

You're better off to flee. 

For shipworms' wiles can't be beat, 

The Horror of the Sea! 


I used to know a sailor lad, 

All stout, and brave, and true. 

A captain 'twas, and not half bad, 

The pride of all his crew -- 

But then alas! for wicked fate, 

One night he fell asleep; 

He woke to find his ship was ate, 

By shipworms from the deep! 


One day I found a strip of land, 

So bonnie, green, and fair. 

I sailed away, came back next day, 

That island wasn't there! 

A mystery? Nay, a classic case 

Of they who make us weep. 

'Twas Satan's worms that ate the place, 

And sunk it in the deep! 


So, lads, when next you see a wreck, 

Where bits float here and there, 

A piece or two of mouldy deck, 

The rest gone who-knows-where . . . 

Then curse the shipworms' shabby trick, 

And learn this secret well: 

They took their prize to Bad Old Nick, 

For shipworms come from Hell!

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