Bligh now finds himself afloat,
In a little open boat,
With those whose strong allegiance hasn't wavered.
Thus the Bounty's launch departs -
No chronometer, no charts,
Not much to eat - the prospect isn't savoured.
There's a stop to find provisions;
Not the wisest of decisions
The Tofuans soon grow hostile. What a scrape!
They've provided little food,
And are now in murd'rous mood.
Norton's stoned to death whilst trying to escape.
"Men are tastier than animals" -
The view of Fiji's cannibals -
Meant landing there just wouldn't be astute.
But on Restoration Isle,
There is refuge for a while.
Here are oysters and supplies of native fruit.
To the west the boat now sails,
Through rolling seas and gales.
They ate little, due to stringent limitation.
Somehow, everyone survived,
And at Timor they arrived:
An extraordinary feat of navigation.
And for this, Bligh must earn praise:
After forty-seven days,
He had brought his men to where they could be safe.
His log's there for posterity,
But he did write with verity,
When how he dealt with some began to chafe?
Back home the tale was told.
The "Pandora" was enrolled,
To search for the dissenters of the time.
On Tahiti, some were found,
Then the vessel ran aground.
The survivors later answered for their crime.
The remainder were meanwhile,
On a (then) uncharted isle.
Pitcairn was the place they chose to stay.
As things soon turned acrimonious,
It may have been erroneous,
To burn their ship in what's called Bounty Bay.
Most were far from Fletcher-phylic,
So his life was not idyllic.
All was factiousness and drink-fuelled discontent.
Christian's dreams were unfulfilled:
It is likely he was killed,
But many now can rightly claim descent.
Ⓒ Maggie Ballinger 2014