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Sir Thomas Lipton Post by :jtripp Category :Poems Author :Harry Graham Date :November 2011 Read :1541

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Sir Thomas Lipton

Of all the sportsmen now afloat
Upon the waters of this planet,
No better ever manned a boat,
(Or paid another man to man it,)
And won a kindly public's heart
Like dear Sir Thomas Lipton, Bart.

Behind a counter, as a child,
He woo'd Dame Fortune, fair but fickle,
Until at last one day she smiled
Upon his spices and his pickle;
And all the world rejoiced to see
Plain Thomas Lipton made "Sir Tea."

He won the trade, his name was made;
In country-house or London gutter,
All classes found his marmalade
A perfect "substitute for butter."
His jam in loudest praise was sung,
His sauces were on ev'ry tongue.

He built a yacht; that is to say,
He paid another man to build it;
With all the patents of the day,
Regardless of the cost, he filled it;
And hired, which was expensive too,
At least three Captains and a crew.

And, being properly brought up,
A member of that sober nation,
Which ever loves to raise the cup
That cheers without inebriation,
He saw an op'ning if he took
His lifting pow'rs to Sandy Hook.

And there his hospitality
Was always welcome to the masses;
As on the good ship "Erin" he
Provided luncheons for all classes;
Where poets, publicans and peers,
Retained his spoons as souvenirs.

But tho' each boat of his that sailed
Was like the last one, only better,
To lift the cup she always failed,--
Because the Yankees wouldn't let her.
(A state of things which was not quite,
What Englishmen would term, polite!)

His efforts were alas! in vain,
He couldn't beat the pot defender,
Again he tried, and yet again,--
He might as well have sailed a tender!
At last he cried "I give it up!
America can keep her cup!"

"For She, and she alone, has got
The proper breed of modern Yachtsmen!
If only I had hired a lot
Of Swedes, Norwegians and Scotsmen,
I might have met, with calm defiance,
The crew on which She placed Reliance.

"But, as the matter stands, instead
Of knowing what a well-fought fight is,
I'm fêted, dined and banqueted,
Until I get appendicitis!
And probably shall end my life
By marrying a Yankee wife!

"I felt it when the line was crost,
I hold it true, whate'er befall,
'Tis better to have luffed and lost,
Than never to have luffed at all!
My shareholders must be content
With such a good advertisement."

(The end)
Harry Graham's poem: Sir Thomas Lipton

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