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Premonitory Symptoms

Fun, VIII - 28th November 1868



We're thoroughly clear of Folkestone Pier,
  With a holiday all to come;
With a beautiful day and a porte-monnaie,
  Containing a good round sum.
The waves are flecked with a foaming white,
  As they gaily raise their crest;
And on we dash in a steam-borne flight,
  With a breeze from the sou'-sou'-west.
    Merrily, merrily on we go,
      With many a quip and jest;
    So happy are we on a tumbling sea,
      With a breeze from the sou'-sou'-west.

We never were better in our lives,
  And long for a hearty meal;
Though every now and then arrives
  A shuddery kind of feel.
Though a shivery quivery kind of qualm,
  Just shimmers our manly breast;
It's jollier far than a perfect calm,
  Is a breeze from the sou'-sou'-west!
    Merrily, merrily on we go,
      With many a quip and jest;
    So happy are we on a tumbling sea,
      With a breeze from the sou'-sou'-west.

A film is spreading all over your eyes,
  And all the while you think,
It isn't so much in the steamboat's rise,
  As at each successive sink!
The drop-down after a wave, you find,
  Is the thing you most detest;
It leaves you, body and soul, behind,
  When the wind's at the sou'-sou'-west!
    Merrily, merrily on we go,
      With many a quip and jest;
    So happy are we on a tumbling sea,
      With a breeze from the sou'-sou'-west.

You find your tongue has attained a size
  You never remarked before;
You're much relieved when you close your eyes,
  You're shuddering more and more.
A sickening kind of warmth is felt
  Just under your manly chest,
You never should wear too tight a belt
  In a breeze from the sou'-sou'-west!
    Merrily, merrily on we go,
      With many a quip and jest;
    So happy are we on a tumbling sea,
      With a breeze from the sou'-sou'-west.

You shudder and quiver and quake on deck,
  And shiver and glow and freeze;
And you wish you'd nothing between your neck
  And your inorganic knees.
The climax comes, with a wrenching pain,
  It's agony quite, at best;
You swear that you never will cross again
  With the wind at the sou'-sou'-west!
    Merrily, merrily on we go,
      With many a quip and jest;
    So happy are we on a tumbling sea,
      With a breeze from the sou'-sou'-west.

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