Bert Leston Taylor

(1866-1921 / the United States)

The Rime Of The Betsy Jane - Poem by Bert Leston Taylor

(A manuscript found in a bottle)


IT was the good ship Betsy Jane,
That sailed in a spanking breeze,
With a bunch of militant Suffs on board,
Condemned to an island unexplored
In far off southern seas.

The Suffs they went on a hunger strike,
And nothing eat would they,
So the skipper, a conscientious man,
Was forced to the forcible feeding plan,
In the genteel British way.

A squall came up and the ship went down,
And we of the Betsy Jane
Were left on a raft in a dreadful plight,
With never a friendly sail in sight,
On the well-known raging main.

Our skipper, a conscientious man,
Divided the grub with care.
Says he: 'It's share and share alike,
You dames can eat or stay on strike,
But damme! there's your share.'

The waves ran high, the grub ran low,
And never a sail we saw.
The Suffs they scorned the pork and bread,
And 'Votes for wimmen!' was all they said,
And never a chaw they'd chaw.

The starving crew of the Betsy Jane
They watched their end draw near,
Till, 'Blast my eyes!' said Bosun Bill,
'If
they
won't eat their chuck
I
will!'
And the rest of us give a cheer.

But the skipper, a conscientious man,
A pistol huge drew he.
'Who touches a hunk of yonder bread
Dies like a dog! Back up!' he said,
And-
. . . . . .

Right here the tale in the bottle stopped,
And left me on tiptoe;
For how they straightened the matter out,
Or whether their fate is still in doubt,
I'd jolly well like to know.


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Poem Submitted: Saturday, September 18, 2010



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