The Poetical Works of Thomas Hood, by Thomas Hood

Sally Simpkin’s Lament;

Or, John Jones’s Kit-cat-astrophe.

“He left his body to the sea,

And made a shark his legatee.”


“Oh! what is that comes gliding in,

And quite in middling haste?

It is the picture of my Jones,

And painted to the waist.

“It is not painted to the life,

For where’s the trowsers blue?

Oh Jones, my dear! — Oh dear! my Jones,

What is become of you?”

“Oh! Sally dear, it is too true —

The half that you remark

Is come to say my other half

Is bit off by a shark!

“Oh! Sally, sharks do things by halves,

Yet most completely do!

A bite in one place soems enough,

But I’ve been bit in two.

“You know I once was all your own,

But now a shark must share!

But let that pass — for now, to you

I’m neither here nor there.”

“Alas! death has a strange divorce

Effected in the sea,

It has divided me from you,

And even me from me!

“Don’t fear my ghost will walk o’ nights

To haunt, as people say;

My ghost can’t walk, for, oh! my legs

Are many leagues away!

“Lord! think when I am swimming round,

And looking where the boat is,

A shark just snaps away a half,

Without a ’quarter’s notice.’

“One half is here, the other half

Is near Columbia placed;

Oh! Sally, I have got the whole

Atlantic for my waist.

“But now, adieu — a long adieu!

I’ve solved death’s awful riddle,

And would say more, but I am doomed

To break off in the middle!”

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:55