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.