“So, he boils the water, and takes
And the pepper in portions true
(Which he never forgot), and some chopped shalot,
And some sage and parsley too.
“‘Come here,’ says he,
with a proper pride,
Which his smiling features tell,
’’T will soothing be if I let you see,
How extremely nice you’ll smell,’
“And he stirred it round and
round and round,
And he sniffed the foaming froth;
When I ups with his heels, and smothers his squeals
In the scum of the boiling broth.
“And I eat that cook in a week
And—as I eating be
The last of his chops, why I almost drops,
For a wessel in sight I see.
* * * * *
“And I never larf, and I never
And I never lark nor play,
But I sit and croak, and a single joke
I have—which is to say:
“Oh, I am a cook and a captain
And the mate of the Nancy brig,
And a bo’sun tight, and a midshipmite,
And the crew of the captain’s gig!”
Of all the ships upon the blue,
No ship contained a better crew
Than that of worthy Captain Reece.
Commanding of The Mantelpiece.
He was adored by all his men,
For worthy Captain Reece, R.N.,
Did all that lay within him to
Promote the comfort of his crew.
If ever they were dull or sad,
Their captain danced to them like mad,
Or told, to make the time pass by,
Droll legends of his infancy.
A feather bed had every man,
Warm slippers and hot-water can,
Brown windsor from the captain’s store,
A valet, too, to every four.
Did they with thirst in summer burn?
Lo, seltzogenes at every turn.
And on all very sultry days
Cream ices handed round on trays.
Then currant wine and ginger pops
Stood handily on all the “tops:”
And, also, with amusement rife,
A “Zoetrope, or Wheel of Life.”
New volumes came across the sea From Mister Mudie’s libraree; The Times and Saturday Review Beguiled the leisure of the crew.
Kind-hearted Captain Reece, R.N.,
Was quite devoted to his men;
In point of fact, good Captain Reece
Beatified The Mantelpiece.
One summer eve, at half-past ten,
He said (addressing all his men):
“Come, tell me, please, what I can do
To please and gratify my crew.
“By any reasonable plan
I’ll make you happy if I can;
My own convenience count as nil;
It is my duty, and I will.”
Then up and answered William Lee,
(The kindly captain’s coxswain he,
A nervous, shy, low-spoken man)
He cleared his throat and thus began:
“You have a daughter, Captain Reece,
Ten female cousins and a niece,
A ma, if what I’m told is true,
Six sisters, and an aunt or two.