Joe Golightly Or, The First Lord's Daughter

A poem by William Schwenck Gilbert

A tar, but poorly prized,
Long, shambling, and unsightly,
Thrashed, bullied, and despised,
Was wretched JOE GOLIGHTLY.

He bore a workhouse brand;
No Pa or Ma had claimed him,
The Beadle found him, and
The Board of Guardians named him.

P'r'aps some Princess's son
A beggar p'r'aps his mother.
HE rather thought the one,
I rather think the other.

He liked his ship at sea,
He loved the salt sea-water,
He worshipped junk, and he
Adored the First Lord's daughter.

The First Lord's daughter, proud,
Snubbed Earls and Viscounts nightly;
She sneered at Barts. aloud,
And spurned poor Joe Golightly.

Whene'er he sailed afar
Upon a Channel cruise, he
Unpacked his light guitar
And sang this ballad (Boosey):


Ballad

The moon is on the sea,
Willow!
The wind blows towards the lee,
Willow!
But though I sigh and sob and cry,
No Lady Jane for me,
Willow!

She says, "'Twere folly quite,
Willow!
For me to wed a wight,
Willow!
Whose lot is cast before the mast";
And possibly she's right,
Willow!


His skipper (CAPTAIN JOYCE),
He gave him many a rating,
And almost lost his voice
From thus expostulating:

"Lay aft, you lubber, do!
What's come to that young man, JOE?
Belay! 'vast heaving! you!
Do kindly stop that banjo!

"I wish, I do O lor'!
You'd shipped aboard a trader:
ARE you a sailor or
A negro serenader?"

But still the stricken lad,
Aloft or on his pillow,
Howled forth in accents sad
His aggravating "Willow!"

Stern love of duty bad
Been JOYCE'S chiefest beauty;
Says he, "I love that lad,
But duty, damme! duty!

"Twelve months' black-hole, I say,
Where daylight never flashes;
And always twice a day
A good six dozen lashes!"

But JOSEPH had a mate,
A sailor stout and lusty,
A man of low estate,
But singularly trusty.

Says he, "Cheer hup, young JOE!
I'll tell you what I'm arter
To that Fust Lord I'll go
And ax him for his darter.

"To that Fust Lord I'll go
And say you love her dearly."
And JOE said (weeping low),
"I wish you would, sincerely!"

That sailor to that Lord
Went, soon as he had landed,
And of his own accord
An interview demanded.

Says he, with seaman's roll,
"My Captain (wot's a Tartar)
Guv JOE twelve months' black-hole,
For lovering your darter.

"He loves MISS LADY JANE
(I own she is his betters),
But if you'll jine them twain,
They'll free him from his fetters.

"And if so be as how
You'll let her come aboard ship,
I'll take her with me now."
"Get out!" remarked his Lordship.

That honest tar repaired
To JOE upon the billow,
And told him how he'd fared.
JOE only whispered, "Willow!"

And for that dreadful crime
(Young sailors, learn to shun it)
He's working out his time;
In six months he'll have done it.

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