Novel Magazine, April 1906


The vessel may shake like a jelly,
 The tempest may ruffle the sea;
The oil from the engines be smelly,
 But, bless you, that don’t affect me.
Such details are quite to my liking,
 They cause me no worry or pain;
I feel like an up-to-date Viking,
 Whatever the state of the main.

I know that full many a man ’ll
 Turn green when the anchor is weighed,
And assume in the chops of the Channel
 Some even more curious shade;
Such words as “a ground swell” or “leeward,”
 If you whisper them soft in his ear,
Will make him call out for the steward,
 Explaining he feels rather queer.

Some find that their systems are shaken
 If men in their presence should speak
Of the merits of oysters or bacon,
 Or succulent bubble-and-squeak.
If you mention whipped cream in their hearing,
 Small pleasure their faces will show;
You notice their backs disappearing
En route for the cabin below.

Myself, be the sea smooth or rougher,
 From these sorts of woes I’m exempt.
I think of the people who suffer
 With pity that’s mixed with contempt.
And I owe my immunity merely
 (A fact I’ve not mentioned before)
To avoiding the ocean severely:
 I spend all my life on the shore.