Saturday, 25 November 2006

The Cockle-pickers and the Gang-Masters

The Cockle-pickers and the Gang-masters

The moon was shining on the sea
Shining on that fateful night

But there was nothing odd about this at all
As workers worked through the night

The sun had long set in the sky
Just like every day before

As cockle-pickers made their way
Unto that killing shore

The Cockle-pickers and Supervisors
were walking close at hand

The former wept like anything
to see such quantities of sand

O Cockles come and walk with us
The workers did beseech

Come walk with us in quantity
Along this silhouetted beach

But no cockles followed them that night
Without backbreaking toil and sweat

Persuaded back in China to
A lifetime of regret

It seems a chance the gang-master thought
To play them such a risk

After we’ve brought them out so far
And made them work so brisk

O workers said the gang-masters
You’ve had a pleasant run

Shall we be going home again
But answer came there none

But this silence was not odd at all,
Cos they’d drowned almost everyone

Peter Burton

No comments: