'''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."

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

[[RuleOfDrama Fair held the breeze behind us]] -- [[PowerOfLove 'twas warm with lovers' prayers]],\\
We'd [[MacGuffin stolen wills for ballast]] and [[SecretLegacy a crew of missing heirs]].\\
[[MysteriousPast They shipped as Able Bastards]] [[SuddenlySuitableSuitor till]] [[SecretLegacy the Wicked Nurse confessed,]]\\
[[StoryArc 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 [[LoveInterest maids]] of [[BeautyEqualsGoodness matchless beauty]] and [[MosesInTheBulrushes parentage unguessed]],\\
And [[GoodShepherd a Church of England parson]] for the Islands of the Blest.

[[{{Realism}} 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.\\
[[TropesAreNotBad We weren't exactly Yussufs, but -- Zuleika didn't tell]].

[[BlackAndWhiteMorality No moral doubts assailed us, so when the port we neared]],\\
[[LaserGuidedKarma The villain had his flogging at the gangway]], [[AndThereWasMuchRejoicing and 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]].

[[HappyEnding 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,\\
[[{{Escapism}} I left the old three-decker at the Islands of the Blest!]] . . .

[[TrueArtIsBoring 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,\\
[[{{Realism}} In a ram-you-damn-you liner with a brace of bucking screws.]]

[[KitchenSinkDrama 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 --]]\\
[[TrueArtIsAngsty And you aren't one knot the nearer to the Islands of the Blest.]]

[[AuthorFilibuster But when you're threshing, crippled,]] [[SliceOfLife 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;\\
[[RuleOfDrama You'll hear the long-drawn thunder 'neath her leaping figure-head]];\\
[[EverythingsBetterWithSparkles 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?]] [[LowestCommonDenominator Her port is all to make?]] \\
[[WriterOnBoard You're manned by Truth and Science]], and [[AuthorTract you steam for steaming's sake?]]\\
[[StopHavingFunGuy Well, tinker up your engines]] -- [[ScrewTheRulesThisIsArt you know your business best]] --\\
[[WishFulfillment She's taking tired people to the Islands of the Blest]]!
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