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Poem by Marriott Edgar
Jonah and the Grampus
I’ll tell you the story of Jonah, A really remarkable tale; A peaceful and humdrum existence he had Until one day he went for a sail. The weather were grand when they started, But later at turn of the tide The wind started blowing, the water got rough, And Jonah felt funny inside. When the ship started pitching and tossing He tried hard his feelings to smother, At last he just leant his head over the side And one thing seemed to bring up another. When the sailors saw what he were doing It gave them a bit of a jar; They didn’t mind trippers enjoying theirselves, But thowt this ’ere were going too far. Said one ”Is there nowt you can think on To stop you from feelin’ so bad?” And Jonah said ”Aye, lift me over the side And chuck me in, there’s a good lad.” The sailor were not one to argue, He said ”Happen you know what’s best.” Then he picked Jonah up by the seat of his pants And chucked him in, as per request. A Grampus came up at that moment, And seeing the old man hard set, It swam to his side and it opened its mouth And said ”Come in lad, out of the wet.” Its manner were kindly and pleading, As if to say R.S.V.P. Said Jonah ”I’ve eaten a kipper or two, But I never thowt one would eat me.” The inside of Grampus surprised him, ’Twere the first time he’d been behind scenes; He found ’commodation quite ample for one But it smelled like a tin of sardines. Then over the sea they went cruising, And Jonah were filled with delight; With his eye to the blow-’ole in t’Grampus’s head He watched ships that passed in the night. ”I’m tired of watching,” said Jonah, ”I’ll rest for a minute or so.” ”I’m afraid as you wont find your bed very soft,” Said the Grampus, ”I’ve got a hard roe.” At that moment up came a whale boat, Said Jonah, ”What’s this ’ere we’ve struck?” ”They’re after my blubber,” the Grampus replied, ”You’d better ’old tight while I duck.” The water came in through the spy-’ole And hit Jonah’s face a real slosher, He said, ”Shut your blow-’ole!” and Grampus replied ”I can’t lad, it needs a new washer.” Jonah tried ’ard to bail out the water, But found all his efforts in vain, For as fast as he emptied the slops out through the gills They came in through the blow ’ole again. When at finish they came to the surface Jonah took a look out and he saw They were stuck on a bit of a sandbank that lay One rod, pole or perch from the shore. Said the Grampus, ”We’re in shallow water, I’ve brought you as far as I may; If you sit on the blow ’ole on top of my head I’ll spout you the rest of the way.” So Jonah obeyed these instructions, And the Grampus his lungs did expand, Then blew out a fountain that lifted Jo’ up And carried him safely to land. There was tears in their eyes when they parted And each blew a kiss, a real big ’un, Then the Grampus went off with a swish of it’s tail And Jonah walked back home to Wigan.
Marriott Edgar's other poems:
English Poetry. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org