Nobby Waterman, The


How very snug and nautical
We ride upon the Thames [Note 279.0]
The sun is shining brightly
No mizzling(1) pertends;
The wherry¹'s are a cutting
And bounding in the sight
On Sunday everybody likes
To do the thing wots' right

Dame Nature is a wonder, 
Strange Wherrys cut about
Swell chaps comes up to ax us 
Does your mother know you're out [Note 279.1]
As large as any mansion 
Now the steamers seem to float [Note 279.2]
How proud must be our waterman 
Of such a nobby¹ boat

How proud must be our waterman 
Tho' he looks queer today
Of six good looking customers 
And every one sure to pay; [Note 279.3]
Who gaffed(1) with him and lost, 
Full quite as much and more,
As the goo(1) of rum which we shall have,
As soon as we're on shore

I would I was a waterman 
No higher rank to mount,
To come out after seven years, 
Upon my own acconnt (sic) [Note 279.4]
I'd shout to them 'ere steamers 
Vots blowing such a cloud,
One day such nuisances as yours, 
Old cock, won't be allowed

Our waterman turned queerer 
As near Limehouse we drew [Note 279.5]
He winked at two or three of us 
And then his nose he blew;
He squinted at the weather, 
And then his head recline'd,
And then he twigged¹ the steamer 
That was bearing down behind.

He shook just like an aspen leaf [Note 279.6]
He was regularly shied(1)
In fact he was so cut up 
That baby like, he cried;
Distorted was his visage 
Hard he drew his breath,
And he looked just like a pig in fits 
All on the pint (sic) of death

That instant such a sweller came 
That set us all afloat,
We missed our nobby¹ waterman, 
He was not in the boat;
We heard a horrid splashing 
Saw nothing, so help me, bob,
But the hat and vig, vich I could swear
I'd seen upon his nob(1)

All day we dragged the river 
Till our strength was quite reduc'd
Next afternoon without him 
We toddled home to roost;
And never from that Sunday, 
No one never did pretend,
To say they saw the waterman 
Vot row'd us down the Thames. [Note 279.7]