Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. IX. Tragedy: Humor
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume IX. Tragedy: Humor.  1904.
Humorous Poems: II. Miscellaneous
Little Billee
William Makepeace Thackeray (1811–1863)
THERE were three sailors of Bristol City
  Who took a boat and went to sea,
But first with beef and captain’s biscuits
  And pickled pork they loaded she.
There was gorging Jack, and guzzling Jimmy,        5
  And the youngster 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.”        10
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,        15
  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 received this information,
  He used his pocket-handkerchie.        20
“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,        25
  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,        30
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        35
  The Captain of a Seventy-three.

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