Port of Holy Peter

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Port of Holy Peter
written by John Masefield
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The blue laguna rocks and quivers,
Dull gurgling eddies twist and spin,
The climate does for people's livers,
It's a nasty place to anchor in
                    Is Spanish port,
                    Fever port,
                    Port of Holy Peter.

The town begins on the sea-beaches,
And the town's mad with the stinging flies,
The drinking water's mostly leeches,
It's a far remove from Paradise
                    Is Spanish port,
                    Fever port,
                    Port of Holy Peter.

There's sand-bagging and throat-slitting,
And quiet graves in the sea slime,
Stabbing, of course, and rum-hitting,
Dirt, and drink, and stink, and crime,
                    In Spanish port,
                    Fever port,
                    Port of Holy Peter.

All the day the wind's blowing
From the sick swamp below the hills,
All the night the plague's growing,
And the dawn brings the fever chills,
                    In Spanish port,
                    Fever port,
                    Port of Holy Peter.

You get a thirst there's no slaking
You get the chills and fever-shakes,
Tongue yellow and head aching,
And then the sleep that never wakes.
And all the year the heat's baking,
The sea rots and the earth quakes,
                    In Spanish port,
                    Fever port,
                    Port of Holy Peter.

Tattenhall


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