Inventory of a Captain's Room


Tristram Charles S. Speedy

A large Rimu sofa, four feet at the head,
By day made a couch, by night is a bed,
A chair with three legs propped up with a stick,
At the door is the scraper made out of a pick,
A strip of red blanket by way of a rug,
Whereon sat a greyhound, bulldog, and pug,
A buffalo-skin, a foot-tub, a pan,
Part of an Army list, half of a fan,
A broken-down candle-stick smelling of brass,
The Mutiny Act, and a cracked looking glass,
A mould to cast bullets, a couple of flutes,
The bowl of a pipe and old pair of boots,
A pair of steel spectacles -- a bottle of port,
A shield from Massawa, an unfinished report,
An invite to dinner, the card of the Priest,
A sketch of a magistrate described as 'The Beast',
Three swords and one scabbard, a box of cigars,
Some Lundy Foote's snuff, some 'Brown Windsor' in bars,
A letter from home and a library book,
An old hat and a powder-horn hung on a hook,
An old pair of shoes, part of a novel,
One half of the tongs, a bit of a shovel,
"Hints to Young Officers" half-bound in red,
A chaos of things spread out on the bed,
A large book of prints, an Eastern costume,
And towels and slippers strewn over the room,
Some tinder, some flint, with steel to strike light,
Some Otto of Rose, the account of a fight,
A pair of cord pants, a whip in the pocket,
A tea-caddy open, containing a 'locket',
Half of a glove, a lock of dark hair,
Both highly prized gifts of some lady fair,
In the midst of this chaos as gay as you please,
On a rickety stool perched quite at his ease,
A giant in height with a beard of red hue,
With look of a foreigner, and spectacles too,
No good looks to boast of, but then has a heart,
Large enough for two, which he is willing to part,
To a certain young lady, as good as she is fair,
And she not being tall, they'll make a good pair,
Has a plump little foot, and a waist that's devine,
And eyes of dark brown that brilliantly shine,
A pipe in his mouth and his feet on the grate,
His thoughts are bent on changing his state,
That dear one no doubt has won him at last,
His aimless "flirtings", a thing of the past,
And now he'll endeavour with one to atone,
Some thirty odd "flames" in New Zealand alone,
So he puffs and he puffs while volumes of smoke,
Are enough e'en the throat of a German to choke,
Till puffing and dozing he falls half asleep,
While visions of -------- around him do creep,
So he turns out the Guard, then returns to his lair,
How like you "le Capitaine" say I Lady fair.