William Schwenck Gilbert
William Schwenck Gilbert Poems
The Yarn Of The Nancy Bell
'Twas on the shores that round our coast
From Deal to Ramsgate span,
That I found alone on a piece of stone
An elderly naval man.
His hair was weedy, his beard was long,
And weedy and long was he,
And I heard this wight on the shore recite,
In a singular minor key:
"Oh, I am a cook and a captain bold,
And the mate of the NANCY brig,
And a bo'sun tight, and a midshipmite,
And the crew of the captain's gig."
And he shook his fists and he tore his hair,
Till I really felt afraid,
For I couldn't help thinking the man had been drinking,
Some time ago, in simple verse
I sang the story true
Of CAPTAIN REECE, the MANTELPIECE,
And all her happy crew.
I showed how any captain may
Attach his men to him,
If he but heeds their smallest needs,
And studies every whim.