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Jack Casts His Shell

Fun, IV - 6th October 1866


Belay with yer argyments, 'national law,
  Reconstruction and noospaper letters!
We're game for a hornpipe, but oceans of jaw
  Won't induce us to dance it in fetters.

What's the good of them Navy Commissioners' teak,
  And the seven-inch plating and models,
When a Palliser's able to spring you a leak,
  Though their armour's as thick as their noddles?

D'ye think be ' hind plating we're willing to skulk,
  Which them Parliament lubbers delight in?
Give us Palliser guns on an old wooden hulk —
  You may trust to us salts for the fightin'.

Let who will cast a shell, why, I'll stand to my gun,
  But I'll cast my own first, without fail, boys —
For we take off our jackets when work's to be done,
  And that they'll take off theirs, I'll go bail, boys!

Our muscles are iron — our courage is steel,
  And its temper's been pretty well tried, boys —
Keep the oak to the weather — i t's used to the feel —
  Never fear, there'll be iron inside, boys!

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