The New Benledi

Ye Tourists gay, come list to my lay,
A glorious Steamer, rigged and ready,
Urges her way, four times a day,
To Kirkaldy Bay, the New Benledi.
In days of yore, 'twas quite a bore,
They tugg'd at the oar with hands unsteady,
Four hours and more to the Fifan shore,
How very unlike the New Benledi.

If during a gale, they hoisted sail,
The vile Cockle shell made Passengers giddy,
And the sea spray fell on beau and belle,
'Tis otherwise now in the New Benledi.
But this sweet sea flower, thro' storm and shower,
In half an hour, so neat and tidy,
Can cross the Forth, either south or north,
And no mistake with the New Benledi.

I've read in my youth (tho' doubting its truth)
Of Great Cleopatra's golden gallies
With their silken sails, spread to perfumed gales
But here we've a floating iron palace.
And I've been in a craft, when the wind was aft,
Who sailed like daft, if the gale was steady:
But this craft can fly, tho' the gale be high,
In the very wind's eye, the New Benledi.

If A[ndrew] G[reig] were worth his wig,
He'd never rest till he had a dozen,
Of such like ships, for pleasure trips.
Then he needna "Ca' the King his Cousin".
Long life I ween, to our beauteous Queen,
May she reign o'er a people loyal and steady;
And long may the Forth, the pride of the north,
Be cross'd by that Gem the New Benledi.

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Copyright © 2001, Jack Campin