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The Bab Ballads. The Sensation Captain
No nobler captain ever trod Than Captain Parklebury Todd, So good—so wise—so brave, he! But still, as all his friends would own, He had one folly—one alone— This Captain in the Navy. I do not think I ever knew A man so wholly given to Creating a sensation, Or p’raps I should in justice say— To what in an Adelphi play Is known as “situation.” He passed his time designing traps To flurry unsuspicious chaps— The taste was his innately; He couldn’t walk into a room Without ejaculating “Boom!” Which startled ladies greatly. He’d wear a mask and muffling cloak, Not, you will understand, in joke, As some assume disguises; He did it, actuated by A simple love of mystery And fondness for surprises. I need not say he loved a maid— His eloquence threw into shade All others who adored her. The maid, though pleased at first, I know, Found, after several years or so, Her startling lover bored her. So, when his orders came to sail, She did not faint or scream or wail, Or with her tears anoint him: She shook his hand, and said “Good-bye,” With laughter dancing in her eye— Which seemed to disappoint him. But ere he went aboard his boat, He placed around her little throat A ribbon, blue and yellow, On which he hung a double-tooth— A simple token this, in sooth— ’Twas all he had, poor fellow! “I often wonder,” he would say, When very, very far away, “If Angelina wears it? A plan has entered in my head: I will pretend that I am dead, And see how Angy bears it.” The news he made a messmate tell. His Angelina bore it well, No sign gave she of crazing; But, steady as the Inchcape Rock, His Angelina stood the shock With fortitude amazing. She said, “Some one I must elect Poor Angelina to protect From all who wish to harm her. Since worthy Captain Todd is dead, I rather feel inclined to wed A comfortable farmer.” A comfortable farmer came (Bassanio Tyler was his name), Who had no end of treasure. He said, “My noble gal, be mine!” The noble gal did not decline, But simply said, “With pleasure.” When this was told to Captain Todd, At first he thought it rather odd, And felt some perturbation; But very long he did not grieve, He thought he could a way perceive To such a situation! “I’ll not reveal myself,” said he, “Till they are both in the Ecclesiastical arena; Then suddenly I will appear, And paralysing them with fear, Demand my Angelina!” At length arrived the wedding day; Accoutred in the usual way Appeared the bridal body; The worthy clergyman began, When in the gallant Captain ran And cried, “Behold your Toddy!” The bridegroom, p’raps, was terrified, And also possibly the bride— The bridesmaids were affrighted; But Angelina, noble soul, Contrived her feelings to control, And really seemed delighted. “My bride!” said gallant Captain Todd, “She’s mine, uninteresting clod! My own, my darling charmer!” “Oh dear,” said she, “you’re just too late— I’m married to, I beg to state, This comfortable farmer!” “Indeed,” the farmer said, “she’s mine: You’ve been and cut it far too fine!” “I see,” said Todd, “I’m beaten.” And so he went to sea once more, “Sensation” he for aye forswore, And married on her native shore A lady whom he’d met before— A lovely Otaheitan.
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