William Schwenck Gilbert ( )

The Bab Ballads. Joe Golightly; or, the First Lords 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.

Praps some Princesss son
   A beggar praps 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 Lords daughter.

The First Lords daughter, proud,
   Snubbed Earls and Viscounts nightly;
She sneered at Barts. aloud,
   And spurned poor Joe Golightly.

Wheneer 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 shes right,

His skipper (Captain Joyce),
   He gave him many a rating,
And almost lost his voice
   From thus expostulating:

Lay aft, you lubber, do!
   Whats come to that young man, Joe?
Belay!vast heaving! you!
   Do kindly stop that banjo!

I wish, I doO lor!
   Youd 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 had
   Been Joyces 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!
   Ill tell you what Im arter
To that Fust Lord Ill go
   And ax him for his darter.

To that Fust Lord Ill 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 seamans roll,
   My Captain (wots 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 youll jine them twain,
   Theyll free him from his fetters.

And if so be as how
   Youll let her come aboard ship,
Ill take her with me now.
   Get out! remarked his Lordship.

That honest tar repaired
   To Joe upon the billow,
And told him how hed fared.
   Joe only whispered, Willow!

And for that dreadful crime
   (Young sailors, learn to shun it)
Hes working out his time;
   In six months hell have done it.

William Schwenck Gilbert's other poems:
  1. Songs of a Savoyard. The Heavy Dragoon
  2. Songs of a Savoyard. The Darned Mounseer
  3. The Bab Ballads. Sir Macklin
  4. The Bab Ballads. To Phoebe
  5. The Bab Ballads. The Bishop of Rum-ti-Foo

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