A CONTRAIRY BREEZE
W. Sapte Jnr. (1904)
'Twas in the brig, the Nancy Trig,
We were sailin' on the main,
First as I guess'd nor-east by west,
And then right back again—
For the wind was cruel contrairy.
We'd a first-rate crew and the skipper too
Was an easy one to please,
There was none aboard as we could afford
To blame for that there breeze-
But it sartinly was contrairy.
From day to day we made no way,
Which at first we didn't mind.
For with quoits and skittles and grog and vittles
Amusement we could find-
Till the wind left being contrairy.
But after a twelve-months' standing still, when we was tired o'
The cap'n come, a lookin' glum, and thusly he did say,
"This 'ere wind's cruel contrairy."
And then he spat, and look'd around, and then he says, says he
"For more nor a year we've lain about here, wherever it may be—
Where the wind's so durned contrairy.
Our owners o' course'll think we're a loss,
Which'll give 'em a deal o' pain.
Our wives'll shed a tear for the dead
And then they'll marry again—
For women's so durned contrairy.
But tho' that's bad it ain't the wust,
Which is, if you want to know,
We've very little more in the vittle store
And the grog's a gettin low-
Oh! cuss this wind contrairy.
Now ain't there a man as can hit on a plan
For makin' a bit o' way,
And any reward as I can afford I'll very gladly pay
To cheat this breeze contrairy."
And then the skipper went below
And we knew as things were queer.
And we left off skittles and eked out the vittles
And felt as life was drear—
With the wind so cruel contrairy.
Well that day week we was pretty nigh dead,
And longed for a drop o' drink,
And overcome by famine, we was all of us dammin'
And swearin' like anythink—
For the wind still kep' contrairy.
Then up the vessel's poop I climbs
And looks around the main,
And over the side a thing I spied
As gave me hope again—
Tho' the breeze was so contrairy,
What gave me hope was a length of rope
As stiff as a maintopmast,
And I see clear as day why we made no way,
For we was a-hanchored fast—
Which made the wind seem contrairy.
Then up I leapt and I almost wept
As I sung out, "Boys, yeo ho,"
And as soon as we was able we cut that cable,
And homeward we did go—
With the wind no more contrairy.
And the skipper he come and he said, "It's rum
As we never noticed it afore__
But never oce again do I sail upon the main
If you, Bill, stays ashore__
Lest the wind should turn contrairy."