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“They went to sea in a Sieve, they did…”

I used to enjoy a bit of Edward Lear as a kid and I had a nice illustrated version of his The Jumblies poem, which was one of my favourites (close-run thing with the Quangle Wangle that one).

Lear specialised in nonsense verse but as this first verse popped into my head this morning, I thought: well it’s not really nonsense at all, is it?

The Jumblies – Edward Lear

They went to sea in a Sieve, they did,
In a Sieve they went to sea:
In spite of all their friends could say,
On a winter’s morn, on a stormy day,
In a Sieve they went to sea!
And when the Sieve turned round and round,
And every one cried, `You’ll all be drowned!’
They called aloud, `Our Sieve ain’t big,
But we don’t care a button! we don’t care a fig!
In a sieve we’ll go to sea!’
Far and few, far and few,
Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green, and their hands are blue,
And they went to sea in a Sieve.
etc.

*fires up the makemeadiva Sieve (note proper Noun) and goes to work*