by Marriott Edgar (1937)
One evening at dusk as Noah stood on 'is Ark,
Putting green oil in starboard side lamp,
His wife came along and said, "Noah, summat's wrong:
Our cabin is getting quite damp."
Said Noah, "Is that so ?" Then he went down below
And he found it were right what she'd said;
For there on the floor quite a puddle he saw
It were slopping around under the bed.
Said he, "There's an hole in the bottom somewhere,
We must find it before we retire."
Then he talked for a bit, and said, "Aye, that's it,
A blood hound is what we require."
So he went and fetched bloodhound from place where it lay -
'Tween the skunk and the polecat it were -
And as things down below were a trifle so-so,
It were glad of a breath of fresh air.
They followed the hound as it went sniffing round,
Until at last they located the leak;
'Twas a round 'ole in the side, about two inches wide,
Where a sword-fish had poked in its beak.
Ba gum! how the wet squirted in through that hole;
Well young Shem, who at sums was expert,
Worked it out on his slate that it came in at the rate
Of per gallon, per second, per squirt.
(addition by Eddie Bluelights)
'Cause 'e wondered how long they could float.
So he summoned the others, who included Shem's brothers,
Ham and Japheth, from deep within boat.
"Is Shem right with this 'ere calculation ?"
Asked their father, beginning to worry.
"We're not very good when it comes to our tables!
Let alone advanced maths, we are sorry!"
Piped in Shem, "There's good reason you thicko's can't do it,
'Cause at school you've been wasting your years,
You're no good at Maths, Science or Hebrew;
‘Cause you've not much between those four ears."
"Your descendants may shine on occasions,
And conquer a nation or two
And think of the odd useful invention
But nothing that my lot will do!"
Said Noah, "Let's not talk of these 'ere equations,
We've got to make t'Ark safe and sound;
So boys go and play, and from me stay away,
And Missus please get me blood-hound."
The blood hound tried hard to keep water in check
By lapping it up with his tongue.
But as that were no go he went up to the hole
And shoved in his nose for a bung.
But the poor faithful hound, 'e were very near drowned,
And they dragged him away none too soon.
For the fountain as rose worked his way up his nose
And blew him out like a balloon.
And then Missus Noah shoved her elbow in t'hole,
And said, "Ee it's stopped, I believe."
But they found very soon as she altered her tune,
'Cause the water had gone up her sleeve.
Then finding her elbow wasn't doing much good,
She said to Noah, "I've an idea.
You sit on the leak and by t'end of the week
There's no knowing weather may clear.
Noah didn't think much to this idea at all,
But reckoned 'e'd give it a try.
On the 'ole down 'e plopped and the leaking all stopped,
And all except 'im were quite dry.
They took him his breakfast and dinner and tea
As day after day there 'e sat,
'Til the storm had all passed and they landed at last
On the top side of Mount Ararat.
That's how old Noah got them all safe ashore.
But ever since then strange to tell.
Them that helped save the Ark all carried a mark
Aye and all their descendants as well.
That's why a dog 'as a cold nose, and a lady cold elbows
You'll also find if you enquire,
That that's why a man takes his coat-tails in hand,
And stands with his back to the fire.