William Schwenck Gilbert ( )


Songs of a Savoyard. The Highly Respectable Gondolier


I stole the Prince, and I brought him here,
            And left him, gaily prattling
With a highly respectable Gondolier,
Who promised the Royal babe to rear,
And teach him the trade of a timoneer
            With his own beloved bratling.

               Both of the babes were strong and stout,
                  And, considering all things, clever.
               Of that there is no manner of doubt
               No probable, possible shadow of doubt
                  No possible doubt whatever.

Time sped, and when at the end of a year
            I sought that infant cherished,
That highly respectable Gondolier
Was lying a corpse on his humble bier
I dropped a Grand Inquisitors tear
            That Gondolier had perished!

            A taste for drink, combined with gout,
               Had doubled him up for ever.
            Of that there is no manner of doubt
            No probable, possible shadow of doubt
               No possible doubt whatever.

But owing, Im much disposed to fear,
            To his terrible taste for tippling,
That highly respectable Gondolier
Could never declare with a mind sincere
Which of the two was his offspring dear,
            And which the Royal stripling!

            Which was which he could never make out,
               Despite his best endeavour.
            Of that there is no manner of doubt
            No probable, possible shadow of doubt
               No possible doubt whatever.

The children followed his old career
            (This statement cant be parried)
Of a highly respectable Gondolier:
Well, one of the two (who will soon be here)
But which of the two is not quite clear
            Is the Royal Prince you married!

            Search in and out and round about
               And youll discover never
            A tale so free from every doubt
            All probable, possible shadow of doubt
               All possible doubt whatever!



William Schwenck Gilbert's other poems:
  1. The Bab Ballads. The Sensation Captain
  2. The Bab Ballads. The Periwinkle Girl
  3. The Bab Ballads. Thomson Green and Harriet Hale
  4. The Played-Out Humorist
  5. The Bab Ballads. Sir Guy the Crusader


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