Works in the Herald 1935

"Australia has lost, during a period of peace, her entire trading fleet, and achieved a performance without parallel, without envy from rivals, and without apparent shame from the government." - Captain Selwyn Day, speaking this week in Sydney.

I nigh drops dead (the bo'sun said)
   When the gist of things I grip
In the land by these 'ere Southern seas
   As I seen on my long last trip.
They seems a joke, them curious folk
   Wot bides at the blue sea's lip,
Whose wealth is made in a world-wide trade --
Landlubbers all wot seems afraid,
   For they ain't got a deep-sea ship.

No, they ain't got a deep-sea ship, they ain't,
   For their 'earts ain't with the blue,
Tho' they claims the seed of the tough sea breed,
   Like Drake, an' me an' you.
On their isle sea-girt they farms the dirt
   Of a fertile coastal strip;
But they seems afraid of a sea-borne trade
An' the hauls their British fathers made,
   For they ain't got a deep-sea ship.

Sea born an' bred (the bo'sun said)
   As man an' boy I been
Nigh every place on earth's broad face,
   An' all the seas atween;
But I ne'er 'ave spoke such curious folk
   As I seen on this 'ere trip,
Who seeks for marts in furrin parts,
Yet for blue water have no hearts;
   For they ain't got a deep-sea ship.

No, they ain't got a deep-sea ship, they ain't;
   An' it don't seem like they care,
For they 'ands the job to any ole yob
   Wot makes a landfall there.
In tramp an' tub they ships their grub --
   Aw, it fair gives me the pip!
They've wool an' wine, an' corn an' kine,
An' the carryin' trade would suit 'em, fine,
   But they ain't got a deep-sea ship!

Herald, 1 August 1935, p6

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2003