The Rumgagger

For several decades Capt. Rob Temple of the Schooner Windfall II and the Skipjack Wilma Lee has been composing piratical poetry and nautical nonsense which he enjoys reciting on stage at various venues, including Ocracoke’s Deepwater Theater and porch talks at the Ocracoke Preservation Society Museum.

Earlier this year Capt. Rob joined up with illustrator Patti Phelps to publish a 40 page booklet containing a dozen of his original creations. The booklet is available for $15 by contacting Patti Phelps at 252-495-2444 or the Ocracoke Preservation Society at 252-928-7375.

Scroll down to read Rob’s piratical, parodical poem, A Pirate’s Christmas.


‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the ship
The pirates were stirring rum punch for a nip.
The guns were run out to their maximum clearance
Just in case ye old navy should make an appearance.

The lookout was passed out cold on the deck
Dreaming of a hangman’s noose round his neck.
Blackbeard in his hat and I in my bandanna
Had just settled down to smoke a Havanna

When out on the sea there arose such commotion
We knew there was something out there on the ocean.
Away to the rail I flew like a flash
And leaning far over I threw up the hash!

I heard Blackbeard laughing. He bellowed out, “Aahhrr
You always get sick when you smoke a cigar!”
The moon on the breast of the glittering water
Made us all feel that something was quite out of order.

A guy with a beard and a furry red coat
Was approaching our ship in a jolly row boat.
So we realized that Christmas had finally caught us
And we cried, “Ahoy Santa! What gifts have you brought us?”

But the scowl on his face and the shake of his head
Soon told us all we had something to dread.
He said, “No presents for you, you mean sons of witches!
I’m bringing you nothing but ashes and switches!

“You dare expect presents?  What’s wrong with your brains?
Your ship is all loaded with ill-gotten gains!”
As soon as Santa’s anger was spent
All of us pirates began to repent.

We begged and we cried till our eyes were all swollen
And we swore we’d return all the loot that we’d stolen.
We said, “If you’ll only forgive us, dear Santa
We’ll give up the sea and all move to Atlanta.”

But he laughed and he told us, “What fools you all are!
Don’t give up the ship.  That’s going too far!”
Then he winked through the smoke of the pipe he was smoking
And we saw with relief that he’d only been joking.

Then opening his bag which he’d placed on the hatch
He presented Blind Pew with a double eye patch.
For the rest of the crew he had wonderful things:
New swords and daggers and golden earrings.

A new peg and crutch were for Long John our cook
And for one-handed Wally he’d brought a new hook.
Then stepping to the rail and shouldering his load
He said, “Always remember to live by the Code.

Only take from the rich as it’s them who can spare it.
When you get back to shore just remember to share it.
We pirates loved Santa; he’s so full of fun
So we all sort of hated to do what we done

But seizing his bag we stole every last gift
Then we bound him and gagged him and set him adrift!
If these dastardly actions seem shocking to you
Well – hey!- we’re just pirates and that’s what we do!