The Walloping Window-Blind
A CAPITAL ship for an ocean trip
Was The Walloping Window-blind
No gale that blew dismayed her crew
Or troubled the captain's mind.
The man at the wheel was taught to feel
Contempt for the wildest blow,
And it often appeared, when the weather had cleared,
That he'd been in his bunk below.
The boatswain's mate was very sedate,
Yet fond of amusement, too;
And he played hop-scotch with the starboard watch,
While the captain tickled the crew.
And the gunner we had was apparently mad,
For he sat on the after-rail,
And fired salutes with the captain's boots,
In the teeth of the booming gale.
The captain sat in a commodore's hat
And dined, in a royal way,
On toasted pigs and pickles and figs
And gummery bread, each day.
But the cook was Dutch, an behaved as such;
For the food that he gave the crew
Was a number of tons of hot-cross buns,
Chopped up with sugar and glue.
And we all felt ill as mariners will,
On a diet that's cheap and rude;
And we shivered and shook as we dipped the cook
In a tub of his gluesome food.
Then nautical pride we laid aside,
And we cast the vessel ashore
On the Gulliby Isles, where the Poohpooh smiles,
And the Anagazanders roar.
Composed of sand was that favored land,
And trimmed with cinnamon straws;
And pink and blue was the pleasing hue
Of the Tickletoeteaser's claws.
And we sat on the edge of a sandy ledge
And shot at the whistling bee;
And the Binnacle-bats wore water-proof hats
As they danced in the sounding sea.
On rubagub bark, from dawn to dark,
We fed, till we all had grown
Uncommonly shrunk, -- when a Chinese junk
Came by from the torriby zone.
She was stubby and square, but we didn't much care,
And we cheerily put to sea;
And we left the crew of the junk to chew
The bark of the rubagub tree.
Charles Edward Carryl (1841-1920)
A parody of Ten Thousand Miles, if Charles Edward Carryl is to be remembered for any one contribution to American children's literature, it is that he, more than any other American children's fantasist of the past century, found a key to successful nonsense fantasy so long thought to be the exclusive property of the British.
Known as the American Lewis Carroll, Carryl wrote nonesense verse and I was an overwhelming enthusiast of his work when I first read this piece around the age of seven. I had just returned from Taiwan by ship for eight days and it seemed the only thing that would calm my seasick tummy was pancakes topped with powdered sugar, but I think it was more than that...I missed Mr Loo terribly. I discovered this poem and it cheered me so; not long after I began to read about the irrepressible Pippi Longstocking. Before we knew it she and I were on our nonesensical way back to Mr Loo aboard The Walloping Window-Blind.
Public domain text taken from The Poets’ Corner: