The Rhyme of the Chivalrous Shark by Wallace Irwin

Most chivalrous fish of the ocean,
To ladies forbearing and mild,
Though his record be dark, is the man-eating shark
Who will eat neither woman nor child.

He dines upon seamen and skippers,
And tourists his hunger assuage,
And a fresh cabin boy will inspire him with joy
If he’s past the maturity age.

A doctor, a lawyer, a preacher,
He’ll gobble one any fine day,
But the ladies, God bless ’em, he’ll only address ’em
Politely and go on his way.

I can readily cite you an instance
Where a lovely young lady of Breem,
Who was tender and sweet and delicious to eat,
Fell into the bay with a scream.

She struggled and flounced in the water
And signaled in vain for her bark,
And she’d surely been drowned if she hadn’t been found
By a chivalrous man-eating shark.

He bowed in a manner most polished,
Thus soothing her impulses wild;
“Don’t be frightened,” he said,
“I’ve been properly bred
And will eat neither woman nor child.”

Then he proffered his fin and she took it—
Such a gallantry none can dispute—
While the passengers cheered as the vessel they neared
And a broadside was fired in salute.

And they soon stood alongside the vessel,
When a life-saving dingey was lowered
With the pick of the crew, and her relatives, too,
And the mate and the skipper aboard.

So they took her aboard in a jiffy,
And the shark stood attention the while,
Then he raised on his flipper and ate up the skipper
And went on his way with a smile.

And this shows that the prince of the ocean,
To ladies forbearing and mild,
Though his record be dark, is the man-eating shark
Who will eat neither woman nor child.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.