Discussion in 'Diamond Lil's' started by The_Jimmy, Oct 11, 2008.

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  1. This is for the stokers of old

    Now each of us from time to time, has gazed upon the sea,
    And watched the war ships pulling out, to keep his country free.
    And most of us have read a book, or heard a lusty tale,
    About the men who sail these ships, though lightning, wind and hail.

    But there's a place within each ship, that legend fails to teach.
    It's hot below the waterline, it takes a living sole....
    A hot metal living hell, that sailors call the Hole.
    I houses engines run by steam, that makes the shafts go round,
    A place of fire and noise and heat, that beats your spirit down.

    Where boilers like a hellish heart with blood of angry steam,
    Are moulded gods without remorse, are nightmares in a dream.
    Whose threat that from the fire roar, is like living doubt,
    That any minute would with scorn, escape and crush you out.

    Where turbines scream like tortured souls, alone and lost in hell,
    As ordered from above somewhere, they answer every bell.
    The men who keep the fires lit, and make the engines run,
    Are strangers to the world of light, and rarely see the sun.

    They have no time for man or God, no tolerance for fear,
    Their aspect pays no living thing, the tribute of a tear.
    For there's not much that men can do, that there men haven't done.
    Beneath the decks, deep in the hole to make engines run.

    For every hour of every day, they keep the watch in hell,
    For if the fires ever fail, their ship's a useless shell.
    When ships converge to have a war, upon the angry sea,
    The men below just grimly smile at what their fate might be.

    They're locked below like men fore-doomed. Who hear no battle cry,
    It's well assured that if they're hit, the men below will die.
    For every days a war down there, when the gauges all read red,
    Twelve hundred pounds of superheated steam, can kill you mighty dead.

    So if you ever write their sons, or try to tell their tale,'
    The very words would make you hear, a fired furnace wail.
    And people as a general rule, don't hear of men of steel,
    So tittle's heard about the place, that sailor call the hole.

    But I can sing about this place, and try to make you see,
    The hardened life of men down there, cause one of them is me.
    I've seen those sweat soaked heroes fight, in superheated air,
    To keep their ship alive and right, though no one knows they're there.

    And thus they'll fight for ages on till warships sail no more,
    Amid the boilers might heat and the turbines hellish rear.
    So when you see a ship pull out, to meet a war like foe,
    Remember faintly if you can, "The men who sail below."

    By "The unknown Stoker"
  2. tiddlyoggy

    tiddlyoggy War Hero Book Reviewer

    Love it. Where did you come across that beauty? Looks kind of Rudyard Kipling-esque, but I'm pretty well read on him and don't remember seeing it before.
  3. Excellent Jimmy,and as relevant today as when it was written.Even when stokers worked on the upper scupper unfurling canvas engines the job was fraught with danger.
  4. I found it on a wall in at FBE in Sydney I think it was there for years any way took it down photo copier hang it back up....later saw another copy of it in a RSL cant remember where. Thought I would share it as it is about ALL stokers from ALL navies of the past....where you took pride in your work your ship your shipmates and your Navy..... but thats when it was a NAVY!
  5. Fck messing wiv you if you can take a wall to the photocopier :rambo:
  6. Eruditely put Slim old bean! I couldn't quite articulate a reply of that calibre myself . Pip, pip, toodlepip!
  7. LOL Good one Slim. :dwarf:

  9. Saw it on the Fearless 7 years ago and been looking for a copy ever since.
    Knockout :thumright: :thumright: .
  10. I first saw a copy of this poem for sale in the PX in Naples in 94. It had the title "The Snipe's Lament", snipe apparently being USN argot for stoker.
    Notwithstanding the glaring spelling mistake in the first line of verse 8, which appears even in electronic copies, and the ridiculous imagery evoked (if all the gauges are in the red they must need re-zoning lol), posting this turgid tedious bollocks reveals the poster as some kind of spamming, head in the past legion barfly. These dits belong in the MCR/SCC dit book, not posted willy nilly on a website where everyones seen them a million times before
  11. Never fancied being a stoker to bloody hot. Nowadays all push buttons. I think.
  12. witsend

    witsend War Hero Book Reviewer

    Some touchscreen, a few buttons and lots & lots of valves.
  13. Lighten up Clanky.
    It's a poem FFS. Since when was one of those real life?
    • Like Like x 1
  14. I did'nt say it was real life.
    Tedious bollox maybe.............
  15. tiddlyoggy

    tiddlyoggy War Hero Book Reviewer

    "Nowadays all push buttons. I think." Not necessarily, mostly not the case, but still f****** hot down the hole.
  16. One for the clankies

  17. You Sir are a legend among necroposters.
  18. I was either under an "appropriate" forum title or under RToB.

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