[LMB] Arrr! Belike

Pouncer pouncer at aol.com
Sat Sep 19 04:18:00 BST 2020


Rural Barrayarans are known to use the word "belike"
as an affirmative intensifier. Yea verily. Yes Indeed.
Right, You Betcha! Aye, Belike.

Or maybe,  "Perhaps".  Yes, as may be.  God willing.

Pirates, according to Robert Louis Stevenson, use
"belike" slightly differently. A comparison. Resembling.
In a way.  Evidently.  ... Marked *belike* it had been
gripped ---

Well, with that slight excuse, let's begin:


Fifteen men on a dead man's chest
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum
Drink and the devil be done for the rest
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum

The mate was fixed by the bos'n's pike
The bos'n' brained with a markin spike
And Cookey's throat was marked    ** belike **
It had been gripped by fingers ten
And there they lay all good dead men
Like break o' day in a boozing ken
Yo Ho Ho and a bottle of rum

Fifteen men of a whole ship's list
Yo Ho Ho and a bottle of rum
Dead and be damned and the rest gone whist!
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum

The skipper lay with his nob in gore
Where the scullion's axe his cheek had shore
And the scullion he was stabbed times four
And there he lay and the soggy skies
Dripped all day in up-staring eyes
At murk sunset and at foul surprise
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum

Fifteen men of 'em,  stiff and stark
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum
Ten of the crew had the murder mark
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum

'Twas a cutlass swipe or and ounce of lead
Or a yawning hole in a battered head
and the scuppers glut with a yawning red
And there they lay aye damn my eyes
All lookouts clapped on paradise
All souls bound just contrariwise
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum

Fifteen men of 'em good and true
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum
Every man Jack could ha' sailed with old Pew
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum

There was chest on chest of Spanish gold
With a ton of plate in the middle hold
And the cabins riot with stuff untold
As they lay there that had took the plum
With a sightless glare and their lips struck dumb
While we shared all by the rule of thumb
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum

Fifteen men of a dead man's chest
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum
Drink and the devil had done for the rest
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum

We wrapped 'em all in a mains'l tight
With twice ten turns of a hauser's bight
And we heaved 'em over and out of sight
With a yo heave ho and fare you well
And a sullen plunge in a sullen swell
Ten fathoms deep on the road to hell
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum

---  _Treasure Island_.  Cool beans.

Stevenson also used "belike" in a Scots derived poem
entitled _A Lowden Sabbath Morn_ .  From context I'm
not sure if he meant more "for sure" or "as if". But
the Sabbath Morn and the Dead Man's Chest could hardly
be more UN-like.

...

Here the guidman sall bide awee
To dwall amang the deid; to see
Auld faces clear in fancy's e'e;
                *Belike* to hear
Auld voices fa'in saft an' slee
                 On fancy's ear.



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