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The Sailor Boy To His Lass

Fun, VII - 27th June 1868


I go away, this blessed day,
  To sail across the sea, MATILDA!
My vessel starts for various parts
  At twenty after three, MATILDA;
I hardly know where we may go,
  Or if it's near or far, MATILDA,
For CAPTAIN HYDE does not confide
  In any 'fore-mast tar, MATILDA!

Beneath my ban that mystic man
  Shall suffer, coûte que coûte, MATILDA!
What right has he to keep from me
  The Admiralty route, MATILDA?
Because, forsooth! I am a youth
  Of common sailors' lot, MATILDA!
Am I a man on human plan
  Designed, or am I not, MATILDA?
  Illustration by Gilbert

But there, my lass, we'll let that pass!
  With anxious love I burn, MATILDA.
I want to know if we shall go
  To church when I return, MATILDA?
Your eyes are red, you bow your head;
  It's pretty clear you thirst, MATILDA,
To name the day — What's that you say? —
  "You'll see me further first," MATILDA?

I can't mistake the signs you make,
  Although you barely speak, MATILDA;
Though pure and young, you thrust your tongue
  Right in your pretty cheek, MATILDA!
My dear, I fear I hear you sneer —
  I do — I'm sure I do, MATILDA
With simple grace you make a face,
  Ejaculating, "Ugh!" MATILDA.

Oh, pause to think before you drink
  The dregs of Lethe's cup, MATILDA!
Remember, do, what I've gone through,
  Before you give me up, MATILDA!
Recall again the mental pain
  Of what I've had to do, MATILDA!
And be assured that I've endured
  It, all along of you, MATILDA!

Illustration by Gilbert  
Do you forget, my blithesome pet,
  How once with jealous rage, MATILDA,
I watched you walk and gaily talk
  With some one thrice your age, MATILDA?
You squatted free upon his knee,
  A sight that made me sad, MATILDA!
You pinched his cheek with friendly tweak,
  Which almost drove me mad, MATILDA!

I knew him not, but thought to spot
  Some man you wished to wed, MATILDA!
I took a gun, my darling one,
  And shot him through the head, MATILDA!
I'm made of stuff that's rough and gruff
  Enough, I own; but, ah, MATILDA!
It did annoy your poor old boy
  To find it was your pa, MATILDA!

I've passed a life of toil and strife,
  And disappointments deep, MATILDA;
I've lain awake with dental ache
  Until I fell asleep, MATILDA;
At times again I've missed a train,
  Or p'raps run short of tin, MATILDA,
And worn a boot on corns that shoot,
  Or, shaving, cut my chin, MATILDA!

But, oh! no trains — no dental pains —
  Believe me when I say, MATILDA,
No corns that shoot — no pinching boot
  Upon a summer day, MATILDA
It's my belief, could cause such grief
  As that I've suffered for, MATILDA,
My having shot in vital spot
  Your old progenitor, MATILDA!

Bethink you how I've kept the vow
  I made one winter day, MATILDA
That, come what could, I never would
  Remain too long away, MATILDA.
And, oh! the crimes with which, at times,
  I've charged my gentle mind, MATILDA,
To keep the vow I made — and now
  You treat me so unkind, MATILDA!

Illustration by Gilbert  
For when at sea off Caribbee,
  I felt my passion burn, MATILDA;
By passion egged, I went and begged
  The captain to return, MATILDA;
And when, my pet, I couldn't get
  That captain to agree, MATILDA,
Right through a sort of open port
  I pitched him in the sea, MATILDA!

Remember, too, how all the crew,
  With indignation blind, MATILDA,
Distinctly swore they ne'er before
  Had thought me so unkind, MATILDA;
And how they'd shun me one by one —
  An unforgiving group, MATILDA
I stopped their howls and sulky scowls
  By pizening their soup, MATILDA!

So pause to think, before you drink
  The dregs of Lethe's cup, MATILDA;
Remember, do, what I've gone through,
  Before you give me up, MATILDA.
Recall again the mental pain
  Of what I've had to do, MATILDA,
And be assured that I've endured
  It, all along of you, MATILDA!

Illustration by Gilbert

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