I saw a ship a-sailing,
A-sailing on the sea;
Her masts were of the shining gold,
Her deck of ivory;
And sails of silk, as soft as milk,
And silver shrouds had she.
And round about her sailing,
The sea was sparkling white,
The waves all clapped their hands and sang
To see so fair a sight.
They kissed her twice, they kissed her thrice,
And murmured with delight.
Then came the gallant captain,
And stood upon the deck;
In velvet coat, and ruffles white,
Without a spot or speck;
And diamond rings, and triple strings
Of pearls around his neck.
And four-and-twenty sailors
Were round him bowing low;
On every jacket three times three
Gold buttons in a row;
And cutlasses down to their knees;
They made a goodly show.
And then the ship went sailing,
A-sailing o’er the sea;
She dived beyond the setting sun,
But never back came she,
For she found the lands of the golden sands,
Where the pearls and diamonds be.