William Makepeace Thackeray

(1811-1863 / India)

Little Billee - Poem by William Makepeace Thackeray

Air--"il y avait un petit navire."

There were three sailors of Bristol city
Who took a boat and went to sea.
But first with beef and captain's biscuits
And pickled pork they loaded she.

There was gorging Jack and guzzling Jimmy,
And the youngest he was little Billee.
Now when they got as far as the Equator
They'd nothing left but one split pea.

Says gorging Jack to guzzling Jimmy,
"I am extreamely hungaree."
To gorging Jack says guzzling Jimmy,
"We've nothing left, us must eat we."

Says gorging Jack to guzzling Jimmy,
"With one another we shouldn't agree!
There's little Bill, he's young and tender,
We're old and tough, so let's eat he.

"Oh! Billy, we're going to kill and eat you,
So undo the button of your chemie."
When Bill received this information
He sued his pocket handkerchie.

"First let me say my catechism
Which my poor mammy taught to me."
"Make haste, make haste," says guzzling Jimmy,
While Jack pulled his snickersnee.

So Billy went up to the main-top gallant mast,
And down he fell on bended knee.
He scarse had come to the twelfth commandment
when up he jumps. "There's land I see:

"Jerusalem and Madagascar,
And North and South Amerikee;
There's the British flag a-riding at anchor,
With Admiral Napier, K.C.B."

So when they got aboard of the admiral's,
He hanged flat Jack and flogged Jimmee;
But as fro little Bill he make hime
The Captain of a Seventy-three


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Read poems about / on: city, sea



Poem Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002



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