Nelson at the Bat


with apologies to Ernest Lawrence Thayer




Admiral Harriman Nelson is able to conjure up the saving machine, idea, move or maneuver to save the day so often, that I couldn't resist this homage to him using the great sports poem, "Casey at the Bat" as my blueprint. This was part of a celebration to pay tribute to the second anniversary of The Subpen, a Voyage writer's group. I tweaked a couple of places to, hopefully, help them sound smoother. 

 The link for a copy of the original follows my efforts.  I hope you enjoy this tongue in cheek whimsy.   sue 





The outlook wasn't brilliant for the Seaview crew that day:
The score stood one to zero, it was the Republic's turn to play,
And when the torpedo misfired and the missile did the same,
A pall-like silence fell upon the players of the 'game.'


Some of the crewmen seemed to feel a deep despair. The rest
Clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast;
They thought, "If only the command crew could get a whack at that--
We'd put up even money now, with all of them at bat."


But plant men were in the corridor, an alien in the tank, 
The former were all mayhem, while the latter was totally rank;
So upon the stricken crew grim melancholy sat; 
Seemed but very little chance of Nelson getting to the 'bat.'


But the plant men hated cold, to the wonderment of all, 
And the alien, much despised, became a spot upon the wall; 
And when the dust had lifted and the men saw what was going on,
There was Crane with an extinguisher and Morton with a gun.


Then from one hundred throats and more there rose a happy yell; 
It rumbled through the hallways, it rattled in the sail; 
It echoed in dark corners and continued in the bright,
For Nelson, mighty Nelson was advancing to the fight.


There was ease in Nelson's manner as he stepped into his place; 
There was pride in Nelson's bearing and a smile lit Nelson's face.
And when, responding to the accolades, he slightly raised his hand,
No stranger in the boat would doubt 'twas Nelson in command.


Two-dozen eyes were upon him as he walked into the conn.
One dozen tongues stilled quickly as he saw the course they were on.
Then while the churning waters roiled everywhere around the ship,
Defiance flashed in Nelson's eyes; a knowing smile curled on his lip.


And now the shout of "Torpedo from starboard" came from the sonar man,
Crane quickly called a course change and spoiled the enemy's plan.
Nelson stood in wary thought, his manner distant but serene,
Unheeding of the sudden moves, he knew his men were keen.


From a seaman came a murmur, from another a dismal groan,
Like the beating of the storm-waves and the churning of the foam,
"Send one down their sorry throats," muttered someone from nearby
And it's likely they'd have all complained, had not Nelson raised his eye.


With a smile of Christian charity Admiral Nelson's visage shone; 
He stilled the rising tumult; he bade the boat continue on,
He signaled to his exec and consulted with the 'Old Man'
He listened to the seaman as the warnings came again.


The captain and the exec steered clear of another deadly threat,
While Nelson calmly faced the men and said, "They haven't got us yet."
"I have the answer, it's all up here," he said, pointing to his head.
"We only need some tools, some wire, some gizmos and some lead."


The smile had fled from Nelson's lip, his eyes a determined blue,
He drew it up, his saving plan, while men rushed his orders to do.
The tools arrived, the wire and lead; everything was in the conn.
Nelson worked and sweated, Morton at his side, while Seaview carried on.


"Here comes another one," a seaman cried. "This one's going to be real close."
Nelson pointed his device, aimed and fired to something just beyond the nose....
And somewhere men are laughing, and little children shout,
But there's no joy in the Republic, mighty Nelson didn't strike out!


"Casey at the Bat":



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