Spanish Ladies

(Farewell and Adieu To You; Talcahuano Girls)

Farewell and adieu to you, fine Spanish ladies,
Farewell and adieu to you, ladies of Spain;
For we have received orders
For to sail to old England,
And perhaps we shall never more see you again.

We'll rant and we'll roar, like true British sailors,
We'll rant and we'll roar across the salt seas;
Until we strike soundings
In the Channel of old England,
From Ushant to Scilly 'tis thirty-five leagues.

We hove our ship to, with the wind at sou'west, boys,
We hove our ship to, for to strike soundings clear;
Then we filled the main topsail
And bore right away, boys,
And straight up the Channel our course we did steer.

And the first land we made, it is called the Deadman,
Next Ram Head, off Plymouth, Start, Portland, and the Wight;
We sail-ed by Beachy,
By Fairly and Dungeness,
And then bore away for the South Foreland Light.

Now the signal was made for the grand fleet to anchor,
All in the Downs that night for to meet;
Then stand by your stoppers,
See clear your shank painters,
Haul all your clew garnets, stick out tacks and sheets.

Now let every man take off his full bumper,
Let every man take off his full bowl;
For we will be jolly.
And drown melancholy,
With a health to each jovial and true-hearted soul

From A Sailor's Garland by John Masefield (1906)