Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE INDIAMAN, by THOMAS EDWARD BROWN



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THE INDIAMAN, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Aye! Exactly - that's the name
Last Line: "yes of course."" -- ""aw dear!"" I said."
Alternate Author Name(s): Brown, T. E.
Subject(s): Isle Of Man; Ships & Shipping


AYE! exactly -- that's the name --
Fanny Graeme, Fanny Graeme --
Come aboord in the Prince's dock --
Loadin' theer -- and caught her frock
In the gangway -- the crooky it was put --
And a slip and a skip, and a twist of her foot,
And fell in his arms -- Whose arms? you shoutit?
That shows you don't know much about it --
Who and what, and where and when --
Avast these quashtins! Peter's then --
Peter's arms -- that's Peter Young,
Peter the 'printice, Peter the Tongue --
That's what we called him, bein' despard slippy,
And quick as light, and droppy and drippy
With the honey feathered on its pint,
And the curl, and the click, and the swingin' jint --
Thriddle-thraddle; beef or pork,
You couldn' touch him with the talk.

Had to hommer him -- that was all,
Hommer him -- and then to fall
Right in his arms, lek aboord a wreck,
And his arms round her waist, and her arms round his neck,
Houldin' on most ter'ble though:
And me to take her very slow,
As dignified as dignified,
And studdy her agin the side --
And -- Was she hurt? and as red as a buckie,
And tould that chap to cut his lucky --
Unknownst, of coorse -- just whisp'rin' theer,
Like redhot sarpints in his ear.

So the divil cut, but gave a look,
Aw, my gough! like print in a book --
This Peter -- like print, havin' tongues in his eyes,
And everywheer, lerr alone the size,
And the light that was at them -- aw, by jingers!
These deaf-and-dumb chaps, with their fingers --
Aw, bless ye! they might ha' gone to school to him --
Tallagraphs was only a fool to him.
Now what could you do with this divil's kin?
Hommerin', just hommerin'.

So I took the lady to her cabin,
And he turned, and another look like stabbin',
For me, you know; so took and went,
And gave it him immadient --
Aw, wanted it bad! And -- who was he
To be buckin' up to the quality --
A pup like him -- and this and that --
Oh! he was on me like a cat --
And -- Who was he! and he'd have me to know --
And -- a gentleman's son -- "Woho! woho!"
I says, "My lad; is it tongue that's in?"
And when I begun I did begin --
Hommerin'? yes, hommerin'.

But the deed was done, whichever way,
Couldn' ha' been done-er-----eh?
Comedher? bless ye! him or her --
Couldn' ha' been comedherer!
A chance, a glance, a touch, a breath,
And there you're lovin' unto death --
Strange! and others -- I'll defy them!
Do what you like with them, splice them, tie them --
Every knot, and Pazon and Clerk,
And all the boults in Noah's ark --
Bless your sowl! just differin' total --
Lek it's often with things that's poured in a bottle --
Shake them, shake them the vicious you can!
You'll navar mix them -- will ye, Dan?
Just so with pessins -- for all your bother,
They'll navar be nothin' to one another.

That's the way; and listen to me --
Before the pilot left -- d'ye see?
That soon, bedad! they'd got to talkin' --
The cheek of the chap! and her too -- shockin'!
Shockin'-----And still it wasn' bould,
Nor imp'rint, no, upon my sowl!
An innocenter thing you navar,
But lively. And so, goin' down the river,
The pilot seen; and, just he was steppin'
Over the rail, he turns to the Cap'n,
And a cough, and a wink like squoze through a eyelet --
"Mind your 'printice!" says the pilot.

"Mind your 'printice!" Aw, I got a view of them,
If the Captain didn'; and, behould ye! the two of them,
Him in the mizen shrouds, and her
In the starboard quarter-gallery there --
And her lookin' sorrowful, and him lookin' sorrowful,
And her lookin' plaised, and him lookin' plaised,
Till I tell ye then I was nearly crazed;
And hailed him, and down with him quick enough,
And run him forrard by the scruff --
Aw, the sorrowful! the forsoken!
Just lek you'd think their hearts was broken --
And then the smilin' that'd be goin' --
Aw dear! the ways -- you're navar knowin' --
Botherin' one another -- what?
Aw, botherin', taezin,' all-to-that-----
And still no harm -- aw, I wouldn' say't,
Nor I wouldn' think it -- wait then, wait!
Imps of things! But raison is raison,
And cautious of coorse is allis in saison.

Cautious -- that was the Skipper's word,
And had me in his cabin, and heard
All I had to say; and says he,
"Mr. Baynes," he says, "you'll see
To this," he says, "Mr. Baynes," he says,
"And you'll be cautious, cautious -- yes,
Very cautious," he says; "take pains,"
He says, "and be cautious, Mr. Baynes --
I'm trustin' altogether to you,
Quarter-master," he says; "the crew
Is excellent," he says-----"ahem-----
But of coorse my officers is them
I'm bound to trust, and allis will."
Aw, bless your sowl! the 'spectable,
Them times -- what me! yes, me, bedad!
And rather a fatherly way I had,
Fatherly -- just so, just so --
Fatherly uncommon though,
The fatherly you wouldn' think;
And tuk a notion, and gave up the drink --
My goodness! the clear my head was then --
Head and heart and all, my men --
Clear as a bell -- as a bell though, yis --
Bless my sowl! the nice it is!

Clear -- that's it, lek clear in the head --
And-----fatherly, fatherly, was it I said?
Fatherly -- I'll tell ye what,
I belave there's hapes of chaps like that --
Navar had a chick or a chile,
Nor the name of it; and all the while
They've got the father in them that strong
That they crave and crave, and they long and they long,
And they're tuk with it that terrible
That they'll have it some way -- aye, they will --
And anything young that's comin' near them
They're just for worshippin' -- navar fear them!
Who makes it work in them like leaven?
Isn't it God, our Father in heaven?
Oh yes it is -- it's Him, I expeck --
I was allis ter'ble fond of the lek.

But still, a father, I don't care who,
Should have the 'torrity with him too,
The 'torrity, for all the kind,
And the touch-me-not, and the draw-the-line,
And "aisy-all!" and give them slaps,
And hould them in, and his heart perhaps
Just meltin' in his body like dips
For the way he's feelin' for these rips --
But still, of coorse, as firm and stately --
Aw, that's where I was bet complately --
Bet, I tell ye, yes, yes, yes --
I was too soft. "Be cautious!" he says;
And cautious I was; but I couldn' be rocks,
And I couldn' be ropes, and I couldn' be locks,
And keys, and patent-safeties -- what?
And boults, and bars -- And her to get
The fond of me, whatavar made her --
Aw, the little desperader!

Well, ye know, this is the way it began --
Did ye ever see an Indiaman?
One of the reggilar ould model,
Diddle-daddle, all a-straddle,
Like a turkey-cock. They're much more simple
Is big ships now: but Solomon's temple,
With carvin' and gildin', and goodness knows!
Knobs and bobs, and Jachin and Boze,
Wasn' nothin' to yandhar craft;
With a Tower-o'-Babel risin' aft,
And windhers like a 'sarvatory,
And galleries there, just story on story,
Like summer-houses goin' a-cockin' --
Aw, most horrible! most shockin'!
No room to work, and still a waist
Like a haggard, or a market-place,
Or a church -- and doors and doors, treminjis!
And allis comin' off the hinges.

So there ye are! and gettin' together,
And hidin', bless ye! just consedher --
And so many places where they cud be --
How could I guess the place they wud be?
And when I'd catch them, there'd be the one
Lookin' out at the horizon
As straight and as studdy as a beadle,
And the other workin' away with her needle --
Very silent --
Fanny Graeme --
Aw, that's the name though, that's the name --
A Colonel's daughter, the Captain stated,
And sent to England to be eddicated,
And just left school, and her uncle put her
Aboord with us, bein' bound for Calcutta,
And the father "a ter'ble swell out there,"
Says the Captain, "it's very particular,"
And -- for me to mind my p's and q's well,
And much more cautiouser till usual --

That was the Captain: and so I did.
But then these things and the way they were hid.
One evenin' I caught them under the lee
Of the long-boat there -- the 'dacity!
Quiet enough, and very proper
In regard of their conduck and that; but a stopper
Had to be put; so I signed him to me,
And made him go forrard straight, and, blow me!
If I didn' tan him that time well --
"I suppose you think that that's a gel?"
Say I; "may I make so bould as inform ye
That that's a lady? Don't let me alarm ye!
But drop this game," I says, "young porpus,
Or I'll lay ye at my feet a corpus --
A corpus." And then we'd rather a slick
Of roughish water, and I thought she'd be sick,
And that'd be takin' the nonsense out of her;
But divil-a-bit! and the saucy pout of her,
And the hair in the wind all flyin' away,
And the face all drippin' with the spray,
And skippin' and trippin', and houldin' on,
And many a time I thought she was gone;
And the joy of the craythur -- tumble and toss,
And as fresh as a mackarel, that's what she was.

Aye, and of coorse, you'll see the excuse
This Peter would have for his parley-voos
Them times -- for she'd come like a bullet at him,
And he had to catch her, and I had to let him --
And then the slow to cast her adrift,
And the look like some of her was left
In his arms -- the divil! and squeezin' there
Agin his breast. So everywhere,
Blow high, blow low, come smooth or rough,
I'll tell ye what, it was hard enough
For the lot of us to keep them sundered,
Let alone one; for I sometimes wondered
The Captain didn't interfere;
But I fancy he didn' seem to see her
Agate of her games; and, if he did,
The ter'ble confidence he had
In me, ye know; and hardly his place
To be watchin', and prowlin', and givin' chase
To the leks of these two, that was know'n', no doubt,
When he was likely to be about,
And could aisy dodge him. But me, you know,
Watch on deck, or watch below,
It's just one watch I had to keep,
Allis at it, and navar no sleep --
Aw, bless ye! navar no sleep at me,
With the freckened, and the 'ziety.

So when we come to the doldhrums, a lyin'
Like a log on the sea, and the paints a fryin',
And every sowl aboord just done
With the stupid they felt, and the power of the sun --
Lo and behould! these two was as spruce
As ever -- aw, well! it isn' no use --
Love it was, I'm parfact willin' --
Where won't he go, the little villain!
Hot or cowld -- a despard rambler --
Coast o' Guinea, Novar Zamblar --
"Greenland's icy mountains" -- the limb!
"India's coral strand," says the hymn;
Over the hill, and over the hollow,
Like a honey-bee, like a swift, like a swallow,
With the strength and the fire of the sowl that's in him,
Love goes, and will go -- who's to pin him?

Now rael wholesome love, my men,
Will allis have in me a friend --
Love that is love -- you'll aisy know 't --
Yes, I'm very partial to 't --
Very -- it's gettin' over me;
I can't rersist it, don't ye see?
Can't rersist it, or not much,
Allis takin' the part of such,
Aw well, I tell ye, it's surprisin',
I was allis that way, "semperthisin',"
Says a schullar once I was spinnin' this twist to 'm,
And had as much grog as was good for his system --
Semperthisin', that's the plan --
Semperthisin', says yandhar man.

So maybe that's the raison he had
The worst lickin' of all, but the last, poor lad!
The sun was just down, and a taste of cool
In the air, and the sea was all like gool:
And there I found them sittin' aback
Of the cabin companion, and reading a trac',
Or somethin' that way. Aw, dear! I was furious,
Urrov my senses mostly, the curious
It was -- for I stood, and I made her rise,
And go, and she went, and the tears in my eyes,
And the click on my heart, and the swim in my brain,
And to force myself against the grain,
And couldn' ha' done it, slow or swivel,
If I hadn' done it like the divil.

You see, I had to do my duty,
And, for want of a spur, I got hould of the beauty
Of the chap, for somethin' to keep me hard,
And intarmint, you know, that I would regard
For nothin', but welt him, and her navar know'n'
What was up, but just to be go'n'
To her cabin -- And "Is it your beauty, my son?"
I says; "well I'll spile it -- that's aisy done --
I'll spile it," I says, "I'll spile it! here goes!"
And I blackened his eyes, and I flattened his nose,
And I mauled him over, every scrap,
Till his mother wouldn' ha' known the chap --
Aw, boosely, boosely! and navar a word
Urrov his mouth -- the pluck, good lord!
That is the pluck -- Did he strike me? No!
Couldn'! in a vice? just so!
In a vice. Then I loosed him, and then a dart
Went through me, and I caught him to my heart,
And cried and cried -- You'd ha' thought I was drunk --
And went and put him in his bunk,
And coaxed him, and nussed him, and washed him there,
And made him rather comfibler.

Then the fo'c's'le had a meetin',
To see what they'd do, the way I was beatin'
Peter; and wouldn' stand it, they said.
And I went to the meetin', and hung my head
Like a dog, I did. And they grumbled a dale --
Special a chap called Billy Sayle --
But I knew Billy, but ---- howavar,
There's people thinks themselves that clavar --
So I said -- "Look here! it's quite correc',
It's only just what I ought to expec',"
I says; "but still you know nothin' about it
At all," I says; "so you needn' doubt it --
Nothin', no more till brute bases,
And circumstances alters cases."

O yes! they know'd it all the same,
Says one of the chaps -- Miss What s-her-name
Had fell in love with Peter, and he
Had fell in love with her, d'ye see?
And if a gel, no matter the who,
Was fell in love, what's that to you?
That's for her lover, isn' it?
For him of coorse! And for me to sit
On the fellow like that -- it wasn' raison,
No, it wasn'; and talkin' amazin' --
Talkin', talkin'. "You needn' enlarge
On the subject'," I says; "I takes full charge
On the case," I says; "it's all right!
Yes," I says, "I've got a light
About it now," I says; "and Peter
'll know my maenin' sooner or later:
And -- silence! my men, now silence! I say:
You'll find that's the bettermost way:
I had my orders, you know where from."
Then says Peter -- "Go it, Tom!"

So of coorse, you see, I had to do it,
Some way or other to see them through it.
Aw, but I spoke most sirrious
To Peter -- aye, the very fuss
I had him by himself; and I found
The lad was sirrious and sound,
Sirrious, and sound, and gud --
Aw, the rael blood! the rael blood!
No use o' talkin'. So I swore to him sollum,
On the Bible, of coorse, on the sacred vollum --
I swore if they'd only be true to each other,
And good and that, it's father and mother
And sister and brother they'd find in me --
But "Be cautious!" I says, "whatever there'll be --
Be cautious! and mind the young you are --
And Miss Graeme, of coorse, 'll be meetin' her par
All right, and then you'll be tellin' him all --
But cautious! cautious! that's the call."

And now for sure I had the trouble,
Double, of coorse -- it had to be double --
Them two to look after lek shuperintandin',
Like a father, you know, lek for me to be standin'
Betwix' them and the Skipper, that he wouldn' be knowin'
About this coortin' that was goin'.

Aye, and I had a talk with the two
About it, you know, and what to do,
And the time and the place; and me to be there
Allis -- aw, certainly -- only fair!
But needn' be lookin' -- at least I could,
If I liked: and the book -- that was understood --
Navar without the book, no, no!
And readin' nice and proper though --
And settled it with them, and Peter chaffin',
And Miss Fanny fit to die with laughin':
But I was dreadful sirrious:
And so, when all was agreed, she bust
A cryin'; and purty it was to see her;
And she called me a darlin', and an ould dear --
Ould I wasn', not to say --
But still, my goodness! that's their way.

Well, the book was got, the Bible it was,
My Bible, a splendid Bible, and lost
Betwix' them someway; and tex' for tex',
And clear as a whistle, and all as correck's
A Sunday School. But then they begun
To change the vesses astonishun' --
Aw, bless ye! pretendin' to read their parts out,
And talkin'! talkin' their very hearts out;
And the eye on the book as stiff as stays,
But coortin' reg'lar, and coorted their ways
Through Genesis and Exodus.
And then I gave a bit of a cuss,
And I says -- "You'd better be havin' a hymn
Now," I says: but just the same --
Slippin' in a word on the sly,
Or puttin' meanin's -- navar say die!
And me goin' on -- but couldn' stop it,
And apt to be noticed, and had to drop it.

One day I heard a kiss, and I turned,
And looked at them straight, and their faces burned
With the shame; and I said -- "Just overhaul
The articles," I says, "that's all --
The whole of them -- first and second lesson --
Do! Now was there a word about kissin'?
Now then? now? Don't interrup'!
I think I'll have to give it up --
To give the whole thing up; I'd ax
What else can I do?" So Miss Fanny made tracks,
But very slow and dignified,
Rather touchy -- of coorse, the pride --
Aw, pride enough -- but navar mind!
But Peter was mad; and he stayed behind,
And had it out with me there and then --
Aw, ter'ble mad he was, to begin --
And if he was mad, then so was I,
You may depend; and words got high;
And he called me this, and he called me that,
And he called me an ould tom-cat --
And -- my heart was hard, and -- I didn' know how
To behave to a lady, no more till a cow;
And I hadn' no manners, and I hadn' no feelin's,
And on and on, like priddha peelin's.

But at last I gripped him; and then we agreed
To 'llowance the kisses, and navar exceed
One a sittin'; and me to be present,
But not to be lookin' -- aw, bless ye! the pleasant
He got, and the quite; and says he, "What fun!
You're a brick," he says. But bless ye! the one
Was made into two, and three, and four,
And half a dozen, and half a score --
Till the tally got mixed lek in general,
And our 'llowancin' didn' answer at all --
Aw, bless ye! just like bread-and-butter.
Glad I was when we got to Calcutta --
And the Colonel and the carriage and pair,
And coachman and footman, all of them there;
And didn' know the daughter at all --
No, but had to be----- wh-d'ye-call-----
Inthrerjuced? aye, inthrerjuced,
Poor sowl! -- aw dear! and her eyes all sluiced
With the tears; and glad enough of the father,
But still----- of coorse, and 'd obvious rather
'a stayed with us----- and -- Peter----- when
Was she avar goin' to see him again?
And him at the gangway like aside of a grave
She was low'rin' into; and then she gave
A look at him, that you'd have thought
All heaven and earth was took and brought
In the one bright flash of love and longing
And forget-me-not, and the people thronging,
And all the row, and all the bother --
That's the last they seen of each other.

Well now, I wouldn' trust it 'd be runnin'
In the teens of years, I was comin' to Lunnon
Once from Liverpool, to join a ship,
And, just gettin' out o' the train, trip-trip --
And a voice behind me I thought I knew --
"Mr. Baynes, is that you?"
I turned, and, behould ye! there was the woman,
No mistake, but grew uncommon --
Splendid she was -- "Miss Fanny Graeme,"
I says, "your sarvint----- is it a dhrame?"
I says; says she -- "Just hould your tongue!
You're speakin' to Mrs. Peter Young;
And here's my eldest son," says she --
And as fine a boy as ever you'd see --
"So you married him?" and she nodded her head --
"Yes of course." -- "Aw dear!" I said.





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