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THE SAGA OF GEORGE VANCOUVER
by
Gentleman Jim

Vancouver was a citizen of credit and renown
A tugboat captain eke was he, of famous London Town
According to tradition, if my memory fails me not
The gallant captain's family life was never very hot
He owned his gallant tugboat, and he had a buxom wife
And fifteen hungry mouths to feed throughout his gallant life.
Vancouver was a Hollander, his family tree was Dutch
And yet he did not care about his kinsmen over much.
His most apparent weakness was a failing for the femmes
With whom he spent the afternoons, tug boating on the Thames.

Now anyone with half an eye
Can prophesy as well as I
That sure enough, as time went by,
His wife would raise a hue and cry
Against her husband's compan-y.

Now, George Vancouver's wife was no exception to the rule
Her husband's carefree attitude had made her look a fool.
At last her patience failed her, and in words we all know well
She consigned the gallant captain to the fiery depths of Hell
So off the gallant captain sailed in search of fiery Hades
With fifteen gallant tugboat hands and fourteen wiry ladies
And sailed and sailed and sailed and sailed and sailed and sailed and sailed
And sailed and sailed and sailed and sailed and sailed and sailed and sailed.

They skirted lands with scorching drouth
They passed the river Rio's mouth
And still continued further South, to Terra Del Fuego.
The great volcano's deafening roar
Convinced them this was Hades shore.
(Will someone kindly shut the door before I catch lumbago).

The crater's flame subsided, and Vancouver realised
That this was not the land they sought, as everyone surmised
So up the sails were hoisted, and the boat went on its way
Around the Horn and up the coast of South Americay.

The voyage was terrible, generally speaking
The biscuits were stale and the tugboat was leaking
The weather was fresh but the sailors were not
And the more they went Northward the hotter it got.
They may have thought that Satan dwelt in Del Fuego's crater
They realised their great mistake when reaching the equator
Now nothing could convince the crew that this was not the shore
Of the place to which the captain's wife had sent him weeks before.

But Captain George Vancouver was a man of iron will
He knew his destination bade him journey farther still
He called his crew before him and in language blunt and terse
Said he, 'My boys, this may be bad, but Hell is even worse.'

So once again he took his post
And on they sailed along the coast
The captain looking like a ghost and twice as thin
They anchored off the Golden Gate
But George decided not to wait
The time was getting far too late to venture in
So on for yet another week
The captain gave his orders meek
'Until we find the place we seek, we won't give in.'

One afternoon the second mate was for'ard playing snookah
When from the mast the look-out cried, 'The Straits of Juan de Fuca.'
Vancouver quickly roused himself and scrambled up on deck
And every mother's son of them came up and craned his neck.
They floated to the harbour mouth and slowly ventured in
With lusty cheers from thirty throats they raised an awful din.
Vancouver in a booming voice that rang out loud and clear
He climbed up to the mizzen mast that everyone might hear
'My boys,' said he, 'each one of you has done his little bit
We've searched a year for Hades, and, by Jingo, this is it!'
 
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