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Poem by William Makepeace Thackeray


Little Billee


THERE were three sailors in Bristol City,
    Who took a boat and went to sea. 
But first with beef and captain's biscuit,
    And pickled pork they loaded she.

There was gorging Jack and guzzling Jimmy,
    And the youngest he was little Billee. 
Now when they'd got as far as the Equator
    They'd nothing left but one split pea.

Says gorging Jack to guzzling Jimmy,
    "I am extremely hungaree." 
To gorging Jack says guzzling Jimmy,
    "We've nothing left, us must eat we."

Says gorging Jack to guzzling Jimmy,
    "With one another we shouldn't agree! 
There's little Bill, he's young and tender,
    We're old and tough, so let's eat he."

"O Billy! we're going to kill and eat you,
    So undo the button of your chemie." 
When Bill he heard this information,
    He used his pocket-handkerchie.

"First let me say my catechism
    Which my poor mother taught to me." 
"Make haste! make haste!" says guzzling Jimmy,
    While Jack pulled out his snickersnee.

Billy went up to the main top-gallant mast,
    And down he fell on his bended knee, 
He scarce had come to the Twelfth Commandment
    When up he jumps - "There's land I see!"

"Jerusalem and Madagascar
    And North and South Amerikee, 
There's the British flag a-riding at anchor,
    With Admiral Napier, K.C.B"

So when they got aboard of the Admiral's,
    He hanged fat Jack and flogged Jimmee, 
But as for little Bill, he made him
    The Captain of a Seventy-three.



                      William Makepeace Thackeray


William Makepeace Thackeray's other poems:
  1. A Woeful New Ballad of the Protestant Conspiracy to Take the Popes Life
  2. The King Of Brentfords Testament
  3. Mrs. Katherines Lantern
  4. A Doe in the City
  5. Lines upon My Sisters Portrait


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