With last night’s tide came three ghost boats,
three spectral skippers’ grinning skulls.
They hailed the night with grisly jokes
and raised a laugh among the gulls.
The first boat was The Good Intent
who broke her back off Portland Bill.
Her skipper laughed a bitter laugh:
“The Good Intent, her's ended ill.”
The second was The Pride of Exe,
she who was wrecked this side of Beer.
Her skipper waved his bony hand:
“See how we’m humbled now, my dear.”
The third boat was The Safe Return,
she who was lost in Exmouth Bay,
“That were her name.” her skipper grinned
and that was all he had to say.