Steam Watermen

A celebration of the Waterman's Steam Packet Company including derogatory comments about its competitors.


Now all the world flocks to the dashing steam watermen, [Note 419.1]
From London to Woolwich through the water they fly,
And they paddle along with such ease and celerity,
Winning each heart and delighting each eye.
They look so neat and thy run so steadily,
The ladies all flock in these boats so readily,
And walk fore and aft with so charming an air, [Note 419.2]
The steam watermen are never in want of the fair.

What sights of the folks in these steamers so merry,
The old and the young from the Adelphi withal, [Note 419.3]
And from the old shades with the cits¹ and their ladies [Note 419.4]
In parties to Greenwich for whitebait at Blackwall, [Note 419.5]
The black funnels and witches will be scoffing and sneering, [Note 419.6]
But 'tis all one to the watermen and their jibing and jeering;
For their envy and malice they little do care,
The steam watermen are never in want of the fair.

And yet but to see what strange things do happen
As they dash along; caring for no foes at all; [Note 419.7]
They pass by the frail Nymphs, the Fairies, and Witches, [Note 419.8]
They get first to Greenwich and then to Blackwall.
They leave their foes full of envy and sorrow,
Well filled at night, the first on the morrow;
And how should the steam watermen for Black funnels care, [Note 419.9]
When they're crowded, and never in want of the fair.