Cicely Fox Smith

(1 February 1882 – 8 April 1954 / Lymm, Cheshire)

A Farewell (1904) - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith

The frost is on the pane and the rime's on the ground
And pitch-dark the morn,
And a bitter wind comes up with a weary piping sound
Thro' the bare trees forlorn.
God keep my father's house when I am gone,
God keep the fields that first my eyes looked on,
And the cattle in the byre, and the old dog by the fire,
Till I come home again
From off the main.

My mother'll weep for me, and my father'll rave and rage
That his eldest-born should roam,
But my heart is pining like a seagull's in a cage, -
I cannot abide at home,
And sow and reap and sit beside the fire,
And live for herd and harvest like my sire, -
With the sea's song in my blood, be it ill or be it good,
I must take the road and go
For weal or woe.

There's no one stirring yet as I draw the bolts aside,
And the wind blows off the wold,
And I hear the curlew's cry off the moorlands dusk and wide
And the lamb's bleat from the fold.
God keep the little homestead safe from harm,
The sheep on the brown hillside, and the upland farm;
While I am far and free on the wild waste perilous sea,
God grant them while I roam
Till I come home.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, August 30, 2010

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