'''The Three-Decker''' is a poem by Creator/RudyardKipling exulting in the {{Escapist}} and {{Troperiffic}} nature of the [[VictorianBritain Victorian]] three-volume novel.

Please don't edit Mr. Kipling's [[SincerityMode deathless poetry]], except to format and [[BlueShifting blue-shift]] it. Please ''do'' blue-shift as much as possible.

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!!''The Three-Decker''
1894\\
"The three-volume novel is extinct."

Full thirty foot she towered from waterline to rail.\\
It took a watch to steer her, and a week to shorten sail;\\
But, spite all modern notions, I've found her first and best --\\
[[{{Escapism}} The only certain packet for the Islands of the Blest.]]

Fair held the breeze behind us -- 'twas warm with lovers' prayers,\\
We'd [[MacGuffin stolen wills]] for ballast and a crew of missing heirs.\\
[[MysteriousPast They shipped as Able Bastards]] [[SuddenlySuitableSuitor till]] [[SecretLegacy the Wicked Nurse confessed,]]\\
And they worked the old three-decker to the Islands of the Blest.

By ways no gaze could follow, a course unspoiled of Cook,\\
Per Fancy, fleetest in man, [[BlueBlood our titled berths]] we took\\
With maids of [[BeautyEqualsGoodness matchless beauty]] and [[MosesInTheBullrushes parentage unguessed]],\\
And [[GoodShepherd a Church of England parson]] for the Islands of the Blest.

We asked no social questions -- we pumped no hidden shame --\\
[[OutGivingBirthBackInTwoMinutes We never talked obstetrics when the Little Stranger came:]]\\
We left the Lord in Heaven, we left the fiends in Hell.\\
We weren't exactly Yussufs, but -- Zuleika didn't tell.

[[WishFulfillment No moral doubts assailed us, so when the port we neared]],\\
[[LaserGuidedKarma The villain had his flogging at the gangway]], and [[HappyEnding we cheered]].\\
[[DancesAndBalls 'Twas fiddle in the foc's'le]] -- [[MarriedAtSea 'twas garlands on the mast]],\\
For [[TheyDo every one]] [[WeddingDay was married]], and [[HappyEnding I went at shore at last]].

I left 'em all in [[FirstKiss couples a-kissing]] on the decks.\\
I left [[HappilyMarried the lovers loving]] and [[ParentalMarriageVeto parents signing cheques]].\\
In endless English comfort, by [[{{Arcadia}} county-folk]] caressed,\\
I left the old three-decker at the Islands of the Blest! . . .

That route is barred to steamers: you'll never lift again\\
[[GhibliHills Our purple-painted headlands]] or [[BigFancyCastle the lordly keeps of Spain]].\\
They're just beyond your skyline, howe'er so far you cruise,\\
In a ram-you-damn-you liner with a brace of bucking screws.

Swing round your aching searchlight -- 'twill show no haven's peace.\\
[[TrueArtIsAngsty Ay, blow your shrieking sirens at the deaf, grey-bearded seas!]]\\
[[ExpectationLowerer Boom out the dripping oil-bags to skin the deep's unrest --]]\\
And you aren't one knot the nearer to the Islands of the Blest.

[[AuthorFilibuster But when you're threshing, crippled, with broken bridge and rail,]]\\
[[FilibusterFreefall At a drogue of dead convictions to hold you head to gale,]]\\
[[FlyingDutchman Calm as the Flying Dutchman]], from truck to taffrail dressed,\\
You'll see the old three-decker for the Islands of the Blest.

You'll see her tiering canvas in sheeted silver spread;\\
You'll hear the long-drawn thunder 'neath her leaping figure-head;\\
While far, so far above you, her tall poop-lanterns shine\\
[[RoseTintedNarrative Unvexed by wind or weather like the candles round a shrine!]]

Hull down -- hull down and under -- she dwindles to a speck,\\
[[DancesAndBalls With noise of pleasant music and dancing on her deck]].\\
All's well -- all's well aboard her -- she's left you far behind,\\
[[SomethingAboutARose With a scent of old-world roses]] through the fog that ties you blind.

[[MaturityIsSeriousBusiness Her crews are babes or madmen?]] Her port is all to make? \\
[[WriterOnBoard You're manned by Truth and Science]], and [[AuthorTract you steam for steaming's sake?]]\\
Well, tinker up your engines -- you know your business best --\\
She's taking tired people to the Islands of the Blest!
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