The Bab Ballads
W. S. Gilbert
Part 3 out of 3
"And over the dancing waves I'll glide;
That low obeisance I may do
To those three kings of Chickeraboo!"
The Admiral pulled to the islands three;
The kings saluted him graciousLEE.
The Admiral, pleased at his welcome warm,
Unrolled a printed Alliance form.
"Your Majesty, sign me this, I pray--
I come in a friendly kind of way--
I come, if you please, with the best intents,
And QUEEN VICTORIA'S compliments."
The kings were pleased as they well could be;
The most retiring of the three,
In a "cellar-flap" to his joy gave vent
With a banjo-bones accompaniment.
The great REAR-ADMIRAL BAILEY PIP
Embarked on board his jolly big ship,
Blue Peter flew from his lofty fore,
And off he sailed to his native shore.
ADMIRAL PIP directly went
To the Lord at the head of the Government,
Who made him, by a stroke of a quill,
BARON DE PIPPE, OF PIPPETONNEVILLE.
The College of Heralds permission yield
That he should quarter upon his shield
Three islands, vert, on a field of blue,
With the pregnant motto "Chickeraboo."
Ambassadors, yes, and attaches, too,
Are going to sail for Chickeraboo.
And, see, on the good ship's crowded deck,
A bishop, who's going out there on spec.
And let us all hope that blissful things
May come of alliance with darky kings,
And, may we never, whatever we do,
Declare a war with Chickeraboo!
Joe Golightly--Or, The First Lord's Daughter
A tar, but poorly prized,
Long, shambling, and unsightly,
Thrashed, bullied, and despised,
Was wretched JOE GOLIGHTLY.
He bore a workhouse brand;
No Pa or Ma had claimed him,
The Beadle found him, and
The Board of Guardians named him.
P'r'aps some Princess's son--
A beggar p'r'aps his mother.
HE rather thought the one,
I rather think the other.
He liked his ship at sea,
He loved the salt sea-water,
He worshipped junk, and he
Adored the First Lord's daughter.
The First Lord's daughter, proud,
Snubbed Earls and Viscounts nightly;
She sneered at Barts. aloud,
And spurned poor Joe Golightly.
Whene'er he sailed afar
Upon a Channel cruise, he
Unpacked his light guitar
And sang this ballad (Boosey):
The moon is on the sea,
The wind blows towards the lee,
But though I sigh and sob and cry,
No Lady Jane for me,
She says, "'Twere folly quite,
For me to wed a wight,
Whose lot is cast before the mast";
And possibly she's right,
His skipper (CAPTAIN JOYCE),
He gave him many a rating,
And almost lost his voice
From thus expostulating:
"Lay aft, you lubber, do!
What's come to that young man, JOE?
Belay!--'vast heaving! you!
Do kindly stop that banjo!
"I wish, I do--O lor'!--
You'd shipped aboard a trader:
ARE you a sailor or
A negro serenader?"
But still the stricken lad,
Aloft or on his pillow,
Howled forth in accents sad
His aggravating "Willow!"
Stern love of duty bad
Been JOYCE'S chiefest beauty;
Says he, "I love that lad,
But duty, damme! duty!
"Twelve months' black-hole, I say,
Where daylight never flashes;
And always twice a day
A good six dozen lashes!"
But JOSEPH had a mate,
A sailor stout and lusty,
A man of low estate,
But singularly trusty.
Says he, "Cheer hup, young JOE!
I'll tell you what I'm arter--
To that Fust Lord I'll go
And ax him for his darter.
"To that Fust Lord I'll go
And say you love her dearly."
And JOE said (weeping low),
"I wish you would, sincerely!"
That sailor to that Lord
Went, soon as he had landed,
And of his own accord
An interview demanded.
Says he, with seaman's roll,
"My Captain (wot's a Tartar)
Guv JOE twelve months' black-hole,
For lovering your darter.
"He loves MISS LADY JANE
(I own she is his betters),
But if you'll jine them twain,
They'll free him from his fetters.
"And if so be as how
You'll let her come aboard ship,
I'll take her with me now."
"Get out!" remarked his Lordship.
That honest tar repaired
To JOE upon the billow,
And told him how he'd fared.
JOE only whispered, "Willow!"
And for that dreadful crime
(Young sailors, learn to shun it)
He's working out his time;
In six months he'll have done it.
To The Terrestrial Globe. By A Miserable Wretch
Roll on, thou ball, roll on!
Through pathless realms of Space
What though I'm in a sorry case?
What though I cannot meet my bills?
What though I suffer toothache's ills?
What though I swallow countless pills?
Never YOU mind!
Roll on, thou ball, roll on!
Through seas of inky air
It's true I've got no shirts to wear;
It's true my butcher's bill is due;
It's true my prospects all look blue--
But don't let that unsettle you!
Never YOU mind!
[It rolls on.
Gentle Alice Brown
It was a robber's daughter, and her name was ALICE BROWN,
Her father was the terror of a small Italian town;
Her mother was a foolish, weak, but amiable old thing;
But it isn't of her parents that I'm going for to sing.
As ALICE was a-sitting at her window-sill one day,
A beautiful young gentleman he chanced to pass that way;
She cast her eyes upon him, and he looked so good and true,
That she thought, "I could be happy with a gentleman like you!"
And every morning passed her house that cream of gentlemen,
She knew she might expect him at a quarter unto ten;
A sorter in the Custom-house, it was his daily road
(The Custom-house was fifteen minutes' walk from her abode).
But ALICE was a pious girl, who knew it wasn't wise
To look at strange young sorters with expressive purple eyes;
So she sought the village priest to whom her family confessed,
The priest by whom their little sins were carefully assessed.
"Oh, holy father," ALICE said, "'t would grieve you, would it not,
To discover that I was a most disreputable lot?
Of all unhappy sinners I'm the most unhappy one!"
The padre said, "Whatever have you been and gone and done?"
"I have helped mamma to steal a little kiddy from its dad,
I've assisted dear papa in cutting up a little lad,
I've planned a little burglary and forged a little cheque,
And slain a little baby for the coral on its neck!"
The worthy pastor heaved a sigh, and dropped a silent tear,
And said, "You mustn't judge yourself too heavily, my dear:
It's wrong to murder babies, little corals for to fleece;
But sins like these one expiates at half-a-crown apiece.
"Girls will be girls--you're very young, and flighty in your mind;
Old heads upon young shoulders we must not expect to find:
We mustn't be too hard upon these little girlish tricks--
Let's see--five crimes at half-a-crown--exactly twelve-and-six."
"Oh, father," little Alice cried, "your kindness makes me weep,
You do these little things for me so singularly cheap--
Your thoughtful liberality I never can forget;
But, oh! there is another crime I haven't mentioned yet!
"A pleasant-looking gentleman, with pretty purple eyes,
I've noticed at my window, as I've sat a-catching flies;
He passes by it every day as certain as can be--
I blush to say I've winked at him, and he has winked at me!"
"For shame!" said FATHER PAUL, "my erring daughter! On my word
This is the most distressing news that I have ever heard.
Why, naughty girl, your excellent papa has pledged your hand
To a promising young robber, the lieutenant of his band!
"This dreadful piece of news will pain your worthy parents so!
They are the most remunerative customers I know;
For many many years they've kept starvation from my doors:
I never knew so criminal a family as yours!
"The common country folk in this insipid neighbourhood
Have nothing to confess, they're so ridiculously good;
And if you marry any one respectable at all,
Why, you'll reform, and what will then become of FATHER PAUL?"
The worthy priest, he up and drew his cowl upon his crown,
And started off in haste to tell the news to ROBBER BROWN--
To tell him how his daughter, who was now for marriage fit,
Had winked upon a sorter, who reciprocated it.
Good ROBBER BROWN he muffled up his anger pretty well:
He said, "I have a notion, and that notion I will tell;
I will nab this gay young sorter, terrify him into fits,
And get my gentle wife to chop him into little bits.
"I've studied human nature, and I know a thing or two:
Though a girl may fondly love a living gent, as many do--
A feeling of disgust upon her senses there will fall
When she looks upon his body chopped particularly small."
He traced that gallant sorter to a still suburban square;
He watched his opportunity, and seized him unaware;
He took a life-preserver and he hit him on the head,
And MRS. BROWN dissected him before she went to bed.
And pretty little ALICE grew more settled in her mind,
She never more was guilty of a weakness of the kind,
Until at length good ROBBER BROWN bestowed her pretty hand
On the promising young robber, the lieutenant of his band.
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