Babette's Love

BABETTE she was a fisher gal,
With jupon striped and cap in crimps.
She passed her days inside the Halle,
Or catching little nimble shrimps.
Yet she was sweet as flowers in May,
With no professional bouquet.

JACOT was, of the Customs bold,
An officer, at gay Boulogne,
He loved BABETTE - his love he told,
And sighed, "Oh, soyez vous my own!"
But "Non!" said she, "JACOT, my pet,
Vous etes trop scraggy pour BABETTE.

"Of one alone I nightly dream,
An able mariner is he,
And gaily serves the Gen'ral Steam-
Boat Navigation Companee.
I'll marry him, if he but will -
His name, I rather think, is BILL.

"I see him when he's not aware,
Upon our hospitable coast,
Reclining with an easy air
Upon the PORT against a post,
A-thinking of, I'll dare to say,
His native Chelsea far away!"

"Oh, mon!" exclaimed the Customs bold,
"Mes yeux!" he said (which means "my eye")
"Oh, chere!" he also cried, I'm told,
"Par Jove," he added, with a sigh.
"Oh, mon! oh, chere! mes yeux! par Jove!
Je n'aime pas cet enticing cove!"

The PANTHER'S captain stood hard by,
He was a man of morals strict
If e'er a sailor winked his eye,
Straightway he had that sailor licked,
Mast-headed all (such was his code)
Who dashed or jiggered, blessed or blowed.

He wept to think a tar of his
Should lean so gracefully on posts,
He sighed and sobbed to think of this,
On foreign, French, and friendly coasts.
"It's human natur', p'raps - if so,
Oh, isn't human natur' low!"

He called his BILL, who pulled his curl,
He said, "My BILL, I understand
You've captivated some young gurl
On this here French and foreign land.
Her tender heart your beauties jog -
They do, you know they do, you dog.

"You have a graceful way, I learn,
Of leaning airily on posts,
By which you've been and caused to burn
A tender flame on these here coasts.
A fisher gurl, I much regret, -
Her age, sixteen - her name, BABETTE.

"You'll marry her, you gentle tar -
Your union I myself will bless,
And when you matrimonied are,
I will appoint her stewardess."
But WILLIAM hitched himself and sighed,
And cleared his throat, and thus replied:

"Not so: unless you're fond of strife,
You'd better mind your own affairs,
I have an able-bodied wife
Awaiting me at Wapping Stairs;
If all this here to her I tell,
She'll larrup you and me as well.

"Skin-deep, and valued at a pin,
Is beauty such as VENUS owns -
HER beauty is beneath her skin,
And lies in layers on her bones.
The other sailors of the crew
They always calls her 'Whopping Sue!'"

"Oho!" the Captain said, "I see!
And is she then so very strong?"
"She'd take your honour's scruff," said he
"And pitch you over to Bolong!"
"I pardon you," the Captain said,
"The fair BABETTE you needn't wed."

Perhaps the Customs had his will,
And coaxed the scornful girl to wed,
Perhaps the Captain and his BILL,
And WILLIAM'S little wife are dead;
Or p'raps they're all alive and well:
I cannot, cannot, cannot tell.

Rate this poem:(0.00 / 0 votes)
Font size:
Collection  Edit     
 

Submitted on May 13, 2011

2:48 min read
246 Views

William Schwenck Gilbert

Sir William Schwenck Gilbert was an English dramatist librettist poet and illustrator best known for his fourteen comic operas produced in collaboration with the composer Sir Arthur Sullivan of which the most famous include HMS Pinafore The Pirates of Penzance and one of the most frequently performed works in the history of musical theatre The Mikado These as well as most of their other Savoy operas continue to be performed regularly throughout the English-speaking world and beyond by opera companies repertory companies schools and community theatre groups Lines from these works have become part of the English language such as short sharp shock What never Well hardly ever and Let the punishment fit the crime Gilbert also wrote the Bab Ballads an extensive collection of light verse accompanied by his own comical drawings His creative output included over 75 plays and libretti numerous stories poems lyrics and various other comic and serious pieces His plays and realistic style of stage direction inspired other dramatists including Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw According to The Cambridge History of English and American Literature Gilberts lyrical facility and his mastery of metre raised the poetical quality of comic opera to a position that it had never reached before and has not reached since Source - Wikipedia more…

All William Schwenck Gilbert poems | William Schwenck Gilbert Books

FAVORITE (0 fans)

Discuss this William Schwenck Gilbert poem with the community:

0 Comments

    Translation

    Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)

    Citation

    Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:

    Style:MLAChicagoAPA

    "Babette's Love" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 17 Jan. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/41209/babette's-love>.

    We need you!

    Help us build the largest poetry community and poems collection on the web!

    Quiz

    Are you a poetry master?

    »
    Which of these poets did not use capital letters in his works?
    • A. E.E. Cummings
    • B. Robert Frost
    • C. Robert Browning
    • D. Sylvia Plath

    Our favorite collection of

    Famous Poets

    »

    Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.