Oh! a terrible glutton was "Ravenous Bill,"
Mate of the good ship "Whippoorwill;"
And seldom it was he could get his fill;
A fact he oft would mention.
And many a time, when eating his beef,
Would the captain tell him to "take a reef;"
But to such requests he ever was "deaf,"
This being a bone of contention.
He cheated the sailors out of their prog,
Nor left e'en a scrap for the captain's dog:
He was such a gourmand and terrible "hog,"
That he'd" eat you out of your house."
He thought no more of a leg of ham,
A peck of potatoes, and shoulder of lamb,
With all the "fixin's," — wine, jellies, and jam,-
Than a cat would think of a mouse.
At length, on distant Southern sands
The vessel was stranded; and all the hands
Were captured by some of the savage bands
Who lived on that foreign coast.
Poor Bill was taken among the rest,
And became at once a cannibal's guest;
(No pleasant position, it must be confessed,
To wake up some morning already " dressed"
For a native's " fancy roast.")
For want of rations Bill had grown thin,-
Nothing, in fact, but bones and skin;
And his heathen master (as ugly as sin,
To find he'd so badly been " taken in")
Devised a horrible plan.
To wit: a bamboo cage he'd make,
And put in Bill, with a monstrous snake
Called the anaconda, that could easily " take"
Most any "reasonable" man.
At last 'twas finished, — the cage was done;
The snake was captured, — a monstrous one:
The natives assembled to see the " fun,"
And "settle their Bill" they said, as a pun,
"Referring to the "collation."
Our hero was thrust into the cage
Where the snake was coiling itself with rage,
Eager and waiting its prey to engage,—
An engaging occupation.
As Bill and the snake met face to face,
He was folded at once in its close embrace;
And the natives, thinking he'd "ran his race,"
Began on his fate to ponder;
When — what d'ye suppose first met their eyes
As the dust from the scene did slowly rise,
They found that Bill, to their great surprise,
Had SWALLOWED THE ANACONDA!