William Schwenck Gilbert

(1836 - 1911 / London / England)

King Borria Bungalee Boo - Poem by William Schwenck Gilbert

KING BORRIA BUNGALEE BOO
Was a man-eating African swell;
His sigh was a hullaballoo,
His whisper a horrible yell -
A horrible, horrible yell!

Four subjects, and all of them male,
To BORRIA doubled the knee,
They were once on a far larger scale,
But he'd eaten the balance, you see
('Scale' and 'balance' is punning, you see).

There was haughty PISH-TUSH-POOH-BAH,
There was lumbering DOODLE-DUM-DEY,
Despairing ALACK-A-DEY-AH,
And good little TOOTLE-TUM-TEH -
Exemplary TOOTLE-TUM-TEH.

One day there was grief in the crew,
For they hadn't a morsel of meat,
And BORRIA BUNGALEE BOO
Was dying for something to eat -
'Come, provide me with something to eat!

'ALACK-A-DEY, famished I feel;
Oh, good little TOOTLE-TUM-TEH,
Where on earth shall I look for a meal?
For I haven't no dinner to-day! -
Not a morsel of dinner to-day!

'Dear TOOTLE-TUM, what shall we do?
Come, get us a meal, or, in truth,
If you don't, we shall have to eat you,
Oh, adorable friend of our youth!
Thou beloved little friend of our youth!'

And he answered, 'Oh, BUNGALEE BOO,
For a moment I hope you will wait, -
TIPPY-WIPPITY TOL-THE-ROL-LOO
Is the Queen of a neighbouring state -
A remarkably neighbouring state.

'TIPPY-WIPPITY TOL-THE-ROL-LOO,
She would pickle deliciously cold -
And her four pretty Amazons, too,
Are enticing, and not very old -
Twenty-seven is not very old.

'There is neat little TITTY-FOL-LEH,
There is rollicking TRAL-THE-RAL-LAH,
There is jocular WAGGETY-WEH,
There is musical DOH-REH-MI-FAH -
There's the nightingale DOH-REH-MI-FAH!'

So the forces of BUNGALEE BOO
Marched forth in a terrible row,
And the ladies who fought for QUEEN LOO
Prepared to encounter the foe -
This dreadful, insatiate foe!

But they sharpened no weapons at all,
And they poisoned no arrows - not they!
They made ready to conquer or fall
In a totally different way -
An entirely different way.

With a crimson and pearly-white dye
They endeavoured to make themselves fair,
With black they encircled each eye,
And with yellow they painted their hair
(It was wool, but they thought it was hair).

And the forces they met in the field:-
And the men of KING BORRIA said,
'Amazonians, immediately yield!'
And their arrows they drew to the head -
Yes, drew them right up to the head.

But jocular WAGGETY-WEH
Ogled DOODLE-DUM-DEY (which was wrong),
And neat little TITTY-FOL-LEH
Said, 'TOOTLE-TUM, you go along!
You naughty old dear, go along!'

And rollicking TRAL-THE-RAL-LAH
Tapped ALACK-A-DEY-AH with her fan;
And musical DOH-REH-MI-FAH
Said, 'PISH, go away, you bad man!
Go away, you delightful young man!'

And the Amazons simpered and sighed,
And they ogled, and giggled, and flushed,
And they opened their pretty eyes wide,
And they chuckled, and flirted, and blushed
(At least, if they could, they'd have blushed).

But haughty PISH-TUSH-POOH-BAH
Said, 'ALACK-A-DEY, what does this mean?'
And despairing ALACK-A-DEY-AH
Said, 'They think us uncommonly green!
Ha! ha! most uncommonly green!'

Even blundering DOODLE-DUM-DEY
Was insensible quite to their leers,
And said good little TOOTLE-TUM-TEH,
'It's your blood we desire, pretty dears -
We have come for our dinners, my dears!'

And the Queen of the Amazons fell
To BORRIA BUNGALEE BOO, -
In a mouthful he gulped, with a yell,
TIPPY-WIPPITY TOL-THE-ROL-LOO -
The pretty QUEEN TOL-THE-ROL-LOO.

And neat little TITTY-FOL-LEH
Was eaten by PISH-POOH-BAH,
And light-hearted WAGGETY-WEH
By dismal ALACK-A-DEY-AH -
Despairing ALACK-A-DEY-AH.

And rollicking TRAL-THE-RAL-LAH
Was eaten by DOODLE-DUM-DEY,
And musical DOH-REH-MI-FAH
By good little TOOTLE-DUM-TEH -
Exemplary TOOTLE-TUM-TEH!


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Poem Submitted: Thursday, April 15, 2010



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