The corporal was brazen, belligerently bold
Inspecting the decks and the hammocks and hold,
Determined the orders of colonel and major
Would remove all temptation to gamble and wager.
Imagine his horror, his palpable shock
When he spotted a group at around two o’clock,
A bevy of troopers with dice and two cups
Haggled together in a game of two-ups.
The corporal marched over completely alone,
Face flushed with anger, authorative tone;
A hefty six-footer with countenance grim
Leaned over and asked if the corporal could swim.
The small man felt threatened, insulted and blue
But with few other options quickly withdrew;
He climbed to the bridge and in voluble flow
Explained to th’ officers what was happening below.
The major stood slowly then nodded and sighed,
The colonel concurred with a burp deep inside.
“Corporal, you’d best have a smoke, take a breather,
The trouble you see is that we can’t swim either!”