Grand Tour

A Late Grand Tour

Duty behned n' Bristaw fehshioned
Aw' life long 'is bin 'arf rehshioned
No Grehnd Tawer fer the labbe boy
Beyond the wharves n' oi polloi
Even the press-gehng shyed away
As 'e limped through fog on de ol' salt quay
The scent o'tar n' chimney smoke
'e picked 'is nose and scretched 'iscrote
'e reeks o' dehmp, devoid of 'ope
'is one support, an ole guy-rope
Thee 'omley smell o' sodden pine
N' nightly stinks o' beer n' brine
N' ol' ma sump will beat er' rug
As 'e neets blankets n' hides the tug
Bowt steams ahoy in dehmpen mist
Wi' wawts n' awl n' puss n' cyst
An'oo knew gammon 'ud save the day
The great' ion 'ulk wunna sail away
Their top 'ats dun make fur extra brain
Beef gets tender in peltin' rain
Muddy the taste o'river treht
It's meat n' wine 'a makes fer geht
A wawl o' mills on the isle o' dogs
One step back wi' wooden clogs
An'oo cares a fish wife stinks o' fish
Er man is a bottom feeders dish
Un'er the lehntern o' maritime law
'e had er dehn on the wood'n flaw
The gehss light' flick'ed fru the blood
'er red eyes ran n' closed fer good
Bacon fer brakefast on a frosty edge
In the col' pale mawnin' afore thee dredge
Cadavers aeht o' de ow' Ken' marsh
Mi'lud the quawtering was 'arsh
A Grehnd Tawrist sailed away this morn'
To eternity labbe boy's launched at dawn.

© Severn Dwyer. 2015. To be read in a mid-nineteenth century cockney accent.

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