Rileigh, your comments are greatly welcome with me. I see what you mean about the enjambments, and I will consider it. Part of the exercise I’ve given myself here is to write as perfect a Petrarchan sonnnet as possible without it reading like one.
Balladeer, thanks for the continuous support. It’s a big bite I’ve taken here, and I am still chewing. “Millionaire’s Captain”, which was his actual nickname at the times, cannot possibly fit without a trochaic substitution. And as it is a verbatim appellation, I hesitate in changing it only to fit the meter. Perhaps I am less of a purist than you are, as I will allow myself a few metrical substitutions in a piece. I do have my self-imposed restrictions in their use though. Here’s another revision, gone is Canberra and the Café Parisien for words that should scan better. I’ve also made a few other changes, exploring a fuller range of the sailor vocabulary.
I met a sailor from a dated era
who boasted to deserting flocks of drunk
riffraff about the silver in his trunk
and his Olympian consort, christened Sarah.
Myself mere flotsam stranded on Madeira,
marooned within the pub below my bunk,
I pitied this old gob, his fortunes sunk
in rum, and squired but by his own Chimera.
“My name is Edward Smith, the ‘Millionaire
Captain! And I still claim that God himself
can’t sink my ship!” The band, his Turkish bath
and libraries are sunk. Unrigged for fair,
this Satan’s Job, this cast away nonself
to God, must tread an ever sloping path.