The Tishomingo (1855)

The steamboat Tishomingo traveling down the Ohio
drew near two grounded boats:
That looks like a little trouble ahead, don't it?
So I reckon
, the pilot replied
and the bell tolled for soundings;
Eight feet! sang out the fellow with the lead line
and the mate on the hurricane deck
echoed eight feet to the steerman above;
six feet large was the next report
followed in a moment by five feet scant ...
Three feet! rang in the pilot's ears
and the Tishomingo plowed into the sandbar,
rolling and thumping as if her planks were about to split
and then a black man shouted: Go it again, Massa!

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