To all you ladies now at land We men at sea indite;But first would have you understand How hard it is to write:The Muses now, and Neptune too,We must implore to write to you-- With a fa, la, la, la, la!
For though the Muses should prove kind, And fill our empty brain,Yet if rough Neptune rouse the wind To wave the azure main,Our paper, pen, and ink, and we,Roll up and down our ships at sea-- With a fa, la, la, la, la!
Then if we write not by each post, Think not we are unkind;Nor yet conclude our ships are lost By Dutchmen, or by wind:Our tears we'll send a speedier way,The tide shall bring 'em twice a day-- With a fa, la, la, la, la!
The King with wonder and surprise Will swear the seas grow bold.Because the tides will higher rise Then e'er they us'd of old;But let him know it is our tearsBring floods of grief to Whitehall stairs-- With a fa, la, la, la. la!
Should foggy Opdam chance to know Our sad and dismal story,The Dutch would scorn so weak a foe, And quit their fort at Goree;For what resistance can they findFrom men who've left their hearts behind?- With a fa, la, la, la, la!
Let wind and weather do its worst, Be you to us but kind;Let Dutchmen vapour, Spaniards curse, No sorrow we shall find;'Tis then no matter how things go,Or who's our friend, or who's our foe-- With a fa, la, la, la, la!
To pass our tedious hours away We throw a merry main,Or else at serious ombre play; But why should we in vainEach other's ruin thus pursue?We were undone when we left you-- With a fa, la, la, la, la!
But now our fears tempestuous grow And cast our hopes away,Whilst you, regardless of our woe, Sit careless at a play:Perhaps permit some happier manTo kiss your hand, or flirt your fan-- With a fa, la, la, la, la!
When any mournful tune you hear That dies in ev'ry note,As if it sigh'd with each man's care For being so remote,Think then how often love we've madeTo you, when all those tunes were play'd-- With a fa, la, la, la, la!
In justice you cannot refuse To think of our distress,When we for hopes of honour lose Our certain happiness;All those designs are but to proveOurselves more worthy of your love-- With a fa, la, la, la, la!
And now we've told you all our loves, And likewise all our fears,In hopes this declaration moves Some pity from your tears:Let's hear of no inconstancy,We have too much of that at sea-- With a fa, la, la, la, la!