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Poem by Thomas Hood


The Boy at the Nore


I SAY, little Boy at the Nore,
  Do you come from the small Isle of Man?
Why, your history a mystery must be,
  Come tell us as much as you can,
                Little Boy at the Nore!	

You live, it seems, wholly on water,
  Which your Gambier calls living in clover;
But how comes it, if that is the case,
  You re eternally half-seas over,
                Little Boy at the Nore?	
 
While you ride, while you dance, while you float,
  Never mind your imperfect orthography;
But give us, as well as you can,
  Your watery autobiography,
                Little Boy at the Nore!	

Boy at the Nore, Loquitur

I M the tight little Boy at the Nore,
  In a sort of sea negus I dwells;
Half and half twixt salt-water and Port,
  I m reckoned the first of the swells,
                I m the Boy at the Nore!
 
I lives with my toes to the flounders,
  And watches through long days and nights;
Yet, cruelly eager, men look
  To catch the first glimpse of my lights,
                I m the Boy at the Nore.

I never gets cold in the head,
  So my life on salt water is sweet;
I think I owes much of my health
  To being well used to wet feet
                As the Boy at the Nore.

There s one thing, I m never in debt:
  Nay!I liquidates more than I oughter;
So the man to beat Cits as goes by,
  In keeping the head above water,
                Is the Boy at the Nore.	

I ve seen a good deal of distress,
  Lots of Breakers in Oceans Gazette;
They should do as I do,rise oer all;
  Ay, a good floating capital get,
                Like the Boy at the Nore!

I m ater the sailors own heart,
  And cheers him, in deep water rolling;
And the friend of all friends to Jack Junk,
  Ben Backstay, Tom Pipes, and Tom Bowling,
                Is the Boy at the Nore!	

Could I eer but grow up, I d be off
  For a week to make love to my wheedles;
If the tight little Boy at the Nore
  Could but catch a nice girl at the Needles,
                We d have two at the Nore!

They thinks little of sizes on water,
  On big waves the tiny one skulks,
While the river has Men of War on it,
  Yes, the Thames is oppressed with Great Hulks,
                And the Boy s at the Nore!

But I ve done,for the water is heaving
  Round my body, as though it would sink it!
And I ve been so long pitching and tossing,
  That sea-sickyou d hardly now think it
                Is the Boy at the Nore!



Thomas Hood


Thomas Hood's other poems:
  1. Stanzas (Is there a bitter pang for love removed)
  2. The Two Peacocks of Bedfont
  3. The Two Swans
  4. Ode on a Distant Prospect of Clapham Academy
  5. The Departure of Summer


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