When ‘Omer smote
‘is bloomin’ lyre

Introduction to the ‘Barrack-Room Ballads’ in ‘The Seven Seas’

When 'Omer smote 'is bloomin' lyre,
   He'd 'eard men sing by land an' sea;
An' what he thought 'e might require,
   'E went an' took - the same as me! 

The market-girls an' fishermen,
   The shepherds an' the sailors, too,
They 'eard old songs turn up again,
   But kep' it quiet - same as you! 

They knew 'e stole; 'e knew they knowed.
   They didn't tell, nor make a fuss,
But winked at 'Omer down the road,
   An' 'e winked back - the same as us!