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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Georgian Verse. 1909.

Tom Bowling’s Epitaph

Charles Dibdin (1745–1814)

HERE, a sheer hulk, lies poor Tom Bowling,

The darling of our crew.

No more he’ll hear the tempest howling;

For death has broached him to.

His form was of the manliest beauty,

His heart was kind and soft,

Faithful below, he did his duty:

And now he’s gone aloft.

Tom never from his word departed,

His virtues were so rare;

His friends were many and true-hearted;

His Poll was kind and fair.

And then he’d sing so blithe and jolly,

Ah! many’s the time and oft,

But mirth is turned to melancholy—

For Tom is gone aloft.

Yet shall poor Tom find pleasant weather,

When He, who all commands,

Shall give, to call Life’s crew together,

The word to ‘pipe all hands!’

Thus Death, who Kings and Tars dispatches,

In vain Tom’s life has doffed—

For, though his body’s under hatches,

His soul is gone aloft!