The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 6, Issue 5 (November 2, 1931)
A Legend of Whales
“It is reported that whales are now so scarce in the Ross Sea that recently a whale followed a ship for two hundred miles, sobbing bitterly to be taken aboard for companionship's sake.”
Oh, where are our wandering whales to-night?
They've flown, like the tail of Willie's kite.
No more do they spout where billows boil,
(They're mostly converted to barrels of oil).
Yet sailors still tell a wondrous tale,
Of the last benighted Antarctic whale,
Who, when the weather's as thick as soup,
Endeavours to clamber up the poop
For a yarn with the cook or the boson's mate—
Or a chat with the skipper about the state
Of his health, and a gossip of that and this,
Including the price of ambergris.
And when, on account of his size and weight,
He gently but firmly “gets the gate,”
The tears trickle down his dusky cheek,
Like a boiler-house that has sprung a leak,
And he sobs, like the ghosts of a hundred gales
Does the last of the doomed Antarctic whales.
And carved on his ribs, so sailors bet,
He carries the caption, “Rooms to Let,”
So lonely he is for company,
He'd welcome a Jonah in to tea;
And all he sobs the whole night long,
Is a sad Norwegian Cradle Song.