Sir Walter Raleigh
by
Gordon Kerr-Smith
Gordon Kerr-Smith
Illustrations by D. Ferguson
I'll tell you an old Tudor Story, 
A bit diff'rent from what you'll 'ave read; 
Of 'ow Queen Elizabeth got quite a shock, 
Which cost Walter Raleigh 'is 'ead.

It 'appened like this; young Sir Walter, 
On 'is travels, of luck 'ad a stroke, 
When 'e brought back tobacco from t'U.S. of A., 
And taught everyone 'ow to smoke.

This brought 'im immediate fortune, 
For once folk 'ad sampled a fag 
They was 'ooked straight away on the 'abit, 
And 'ad to keep 'avin' a drag!

From t' Royalties that 'e were gettin', 
Walter bought the most ornate attire, 
Which made other courtiers jealous — 
They kept askin' 'im, "Where was t' fire?"

'E quickly became the Queen's Fav'rit, 
And angered the bold Francis Drake 
When 'e gave t' Queen a cigarette 'older 
Made of silver, to smoke 'er Gold Flake.

For a while all went well for Sir Walter, 
'Is riches continued to grow, 
And 'e ordered a posh cape of ermine 
So 'e really could put on a show.

On the day t' tailor 'ad the cape ready,
Walter donned it and felt a right toff.
'e paraded it round at the Palace,
Where they booed 'im for bein' a show-off!

But Walter just laughed at these comments, 
And carried on struttin' around, 
Till 'e noticed that t' Queen, who were passin' 
Would step in a puddle on t' ground.

Not 'esitatin' for a moment, 
'e whipped off 'is cape like a flash, 
And spread it out over the puddle, 
Bowin' low with a great deal of dash.

'e reckoned this act would bring favour, 
And t' Queen would be proper impressed, 
So she might even give 'im a Dukedom, 
Which'd be one in the eye for t' rest!

With a smile, t' Queen stepped on the garment, 
Then let out a loud shriek of fright 
As she vanished down great open man-'ole, 
That t' puddle 'ad 'idden from sight!

By t' time she were rescued, all drippin', 
And not smellin' much like a flower, 
She were not a bit keen on Sir Walter, 
And packed 'im straight off to the Tower.

For years Walter pleaded for Justice, 
Sayin' Drake must 'ave moved man-'ole lid; 
But Drake said 'e knew nowt about it, 
Which wasn't quite true, 'cos 'e did!

Through gettin' this 'orrible soakin', 
Queen Bess was took poorly, and died; 
But James, the new King, hated smoking, 
And wouldn't let Walter outside.

Due to protests from t' League of Non-Smokers,
Who said smokin' made people cough, 
King James were persuaded to pro-nounce 
That poor Walter's 'ead should come off.

As they led 'im to t' Block that last mornin', 
'e were offered a last cigarette, 
But 'e said, "No, I'm tryin' to stop smokin', 
And happen I'll manage it yet!"
The end