Bitnima’s Ghost – Carthage Sea Shanty

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    Lenora Minogue
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    Bitnima’s Ghost – Carthage Sea Shanty

    A Captain bold came from Rome and dwelt in fancy quarters,
    Seduced a Carthage maid who hanged herself one morning by her stola.
    His wicked conscience smited him, and he lost his stomach daily.
    He took to drinking soured wine and thought of the dead lady.

    Oh, Bitnima, unfortunate Bitnima; she left this wicked life so very unseemly.

    One night, when he went to bed, for he had caught a fever,
    Said he, “I am a handsome man, and I’m a sly deceiver.”
    His candle just at twelve o’clock began to burn quite palely.
    A ghost stepped up to his bedside and said, “Behold! Bitnima, the fallen lady!”

    Oh, Bitnima, unfortunate Bitnima; she left this wicked life so very unseemly.

    “By Baal, Bitnima,” then he cried. “Your face looks white and mealy!”
    “Vile Captain Decimus,” the ghost replied. “You’ve used me ungenteelly.”
    “The priests of Mot went hard with me because I’ve acted frailly.”
    “And they won’t be moved to bury me though I’m a sad, dead lady.”

    Oh, Bitnima, unfortunate Bitnima; she left this wicked life so very unseemly.

    “Sweet Bitnima,” said he, “since you and I accounts must once for all close,
    I have a silver shekel of Tanit in my toga, my tunic, my small clothes.”
    “It’ll bribe the priest for your grave.” And then the ghost, she vanished gaily,
    crying, “Bless you wicked, Captain Decimus. Remember a sad, dead lady.”

    Oh, Bitnima, unfortunate Bitnima; she left this wicked life so very unseemly.

    The captain from his bed arose, his fever now departed.
    His appetite was keen again, and then for town he started.
    He ordered clams and mutton too, as once he used to daily.
    He eyed the pretty Carthage maids and forgot Bitnima, the dead lady.

    Oh, Bitnima, unfortunate Bitnima; she left this life of sorrow’s melee.

    So come you maids and beware of Roman captains in their quarters.
    Don’t let them pull your stolas down or get familiar with your short hairs.
    And if you let them dilly dally round your legs, and you should get a baby,
    Keep your stola from around your neck. Remember Bitnima, the poor dead lady.
     
    Oh, Bitnima, unfortunate Bitnima, she left this wicked life so very unseemly.

     

     

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