The Founding of Tobia

In England in the year of 1865,
With the Industrial Revolution in the full of its thrive,
And through its prosperity England had grown,
As Queen Victoria sat on her throne.

But a problem there was which plagued the land,
A problem of types which could never be planned,
The jails and the prisons were quite overflowing,
And the number of people in jail kept on growing.

So Queen Victoria she signed a Decree,
To allow some the prisoners in jail to go free,
They must live their lives in some other land,
From England they would forever be banned.

She commissioned a ship to take them away,
To an unknown land where they could stay,
They would sail to an Island somewhere to the west,
The killers, the thieves, the madams and the rest.

On a clear summer morn was a ship that set sail,
The captain stood staring out over the rail,
He watched the coast as it faded away,
Knowing he would be gone for many a day.

And Captain Ignatious if there was ever a man,
Could guide the ship to the promised land,
The thieves and killers locked up below,
Felt the ship as it rocked to and fro.

"Captain! Oh Captain!", cried one of the men,
"We'll never again commit any sin,
Please don't let us off in a land we don't know,
Where we might live a life full of woe".

To the remark the Captain replied,
"This choice was not for you to decide,
At least you have life, At least you have hope,
Instead of swinging from a hangman's rope".

On the 21st day they sighted some land,
With treacherous cliffs and beaches of sand,
But from the ship they couldn't tell,
If on this land other people did dwell.

The ship dropped its anchor inside of a bay,
Four men in a boat set ashore to survey,
They soon came upon a man with a gun,
They were four, and he was but one.

"Where are we?", said one, "What's the name of this land?,
With treacherous cliffs, and beaches of sand",
"You're on New Caledonia where you've landed by chance,
This Island is claimed by the country of France!"

"So leave here right now or we'll blow up your ship,
And bring a sudden end to your trip,
Set sail for Australia, it's straight to the west,
There you may dock, and there you may rest".

So they sailed away from that unfriendly place,
Hoping that French ships wouldn't give chase,
They sailed to the east towards the rising sun,
In search of a land where they hoped there were none.

A storm arose which they didn't forecast,
The ship tossed about on the ocean so vast,
The prisoners below huddled up to keep warm,
And waited until the end of the storm.

The only one lost from that terrible storm,
Was one that caused the Captain to mourn,
It was his little dog Toby who happened to slip,
He slid on the deck and fell off the ship.

On the morning of the very next day,
They sighted some land where they hoped they could stay,
Quickly four men in a boat set ashore,
This land they found they hoped to explore.

For eleven days they were gone from sight,
The Captain he hoped everything was alright,
He drew up the anchor and prepared to set sail,
Thinking the men on this mission did fail.

Finally the four men in the crew,
Crossed the beach and came into view,
Back at the shop the told of a land,
A beautiful place, so wild and so grand.

They circled the land to determine its size,
Its vastness took them quite by surprise,
They finally came back to where they began,
Nowhere did they see any sign of man.

The Island was larger then they ever thought,
It seemed to be just the place they had sought,
200 miles in length, 100 wide,
This island would be a good place to reside.

So they all gathered on a western beach,
The Captain he raised his voice in speech,
"I claim this land in the name of our Queen",
And he planted a flag where it could be seen.

"Tobias the name I will give to this place,
Named after a friend who's been laid down to grace,
My little dog Toby, so grand and so brave,
Though he never quite learned to behave".

So they settled in this new found land,
This beautiful place so wild and so grand,
They founded a city with Lompoc its name,
The capital of Tobia it soon became.

It had hills and mountains, rives and lakes,
Rabbits and deer and bears and snakes,
Forests and beaches, deserts and bays,
Nice and sunny and warm were the days.

Copyright Dan Olds 1998