Gateway to the Classics: Display Item

A Nautical Ballad

A capital ship for an ocean trip,

Was the Walloping Window-Blind.

No gale that blew dismayed her crew,

Nor troubled the captain's mind.

The man at the wheel was taught to feel

Contempt for the wildest blow;

And it often appeared—when the weather had cleared—

He had been in his bunk below.

The boatswain's mate was very sedate,

Yet fond of amusement too;

And he played hopscotch with the starboard watch,

While the captain tickled the crew.

And the gunner we had was apparently mad,

For he sat on the after-rail

And fired salutes with the captain's boots

In the teeth of the booming gale.

The captain sat on the commodore's hat,

And dined in a royal way,

Off toasted pigs and pickles and figs

And gunnery bread each day.

The cook was Dutch and behaved as such,

For the diet he gave the crew,

Was a number of tons of hot cross-buns,

Served up with sugar and glue.

All nautical pride we laid aside,

And we cast our vessel ashore,

On the Gulliby Isles, where the Poo-Poo smiles

And the Rumpletum-Bunders roar.

We sat on the edge of a sandy ledge,

And shot at the whistling bee:

And the cinnamon bats wore waterproof hats,

As they danced by the sounding sea.

On Rug-gub bark, from dawn till dark,

We fed, till we all had grown

Uncommonly shrunk; when a Chinese junk

Came in from the Torriby Zone.

She was stubby and square, but we didn't much care,

So we cheerily put to sea;

And we left the crew of the junk to chew,

The bark of the Rug-gub tree.