O Corporals! Lance Corporals your fearful week is done;
The ship has weather’d every rack, the ale you sought is won;
The port is near, the smoke and beer, but soldier loses bearing,
While follow eyes on open thighs, the outcome grim and daring:
But O E-1s, E-2s, E-3s! O the promise of early bed
Where on the deck my troop there lies,
Fallen drunk instead.
O Sergeants! My Sergeants rise up and hear the bells!
Rise up–for you the blame is flung–for you will catch my hell;
For you the late night calls and pay the law to bail
For you they all, the requesting mast, their crying faces wail;
Here Captain! dear father!
They’ll beg beneath my head;
It is no dream you’ll swab the deck,
And scrub the brick bulkhead.
This Captain does not answer, his lips are tight and still;
This Father does not wish you harm, he garners no ill will;
If the ship stay anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage good clean fun;
From fearful trip, the victor ship, more libo will be won;
Exult, E-4s, ring forty-eight bells!
But I, with mournful tread,
Walk the line, Your Captain spies,
And waits with breathless dread
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