First World War Poetry Digital Archive

The Rime Of The Youthful Mariner

THE RIME OF THE YOUTHFUL MARINER by WILFRED OWEN

One knotted a rope with an evil knout, And flogged me till I fell; And he is picking the rope end out In a land-locked prison-cell.

One tied my wrist with a twisted cord While I lay asleep on deck. But his reward was overboard, With the string around his neck.

One bound my mouth with her hands of silk, And drew me backward so. Her skin that was foul as curdled milk Is fouler today, I trow.

One clogged my feet with a heavy wine, And my tongue with a tangling drug. But now his tongue is thicker than mine And black as any slug.

One bound my thighs with his muscled arm, Whose weight was good to bear. O may he come to no worse harm Than what he wrought me there.

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