Cicely Fox Smith
The North Sea Ground
Oh, Grimsby is a pleasant town as any man may find,
An' Grimsby wives are thrifty wives, an' Grimsby girls are kind;
An' Grimsby lads have never yet been lads to lag behind
When there's men's work doin' on the North Sea ground.
An' it's 'Wake up, Johnnie' . . . for the high tide's flowin',
An' off the misty waters a cold wind blowin';
Skipper's come aboard, an' it's time that we were goin',
An' there's fine fish waitin' on the North Sea ground!
Soles in the Silver Pit . . . an' there we'll let 'em lie!
Cod on the Dogger . . . oh, we'll fetch 'em by an' by!
War on the waters . . . an' it's time to serve an' die,
For there's wild work doin' on the North Sea ground.
An' it's 'Wake up, Johnnie' . . . they want you at the trawlin'
(With your long sea-boots an' your tarry old tarpaulin);
All across the bitter seas duty comes a-callin',
In the winter's weather off the North Sea ground.
It's well we've learned to laugh at fear (the sea has taught us how);
It's well we've shaken hands with death - we'll not be strangers now,
With death in every climbin' wave before the trawler's bow,
And the black spawn swimmin' on the North Sea ground.
Good luck to all the fightin' ships that rule the English sea;
Good luck to our brave merchantmen wherever they may be;
The sea it is a highway, and we've got to sweep it free
For the ships passin' over on the North Sea ground.
An' it's 'Wake up, Johnnie' . . . for the sea wind's cryin',
'Time an' time to go where the herrin' gulls are flyin'' -
An' down below the stormy seas the dead men lyin'
Oh, the dead lyin' quiet on the North Sea ground!
Cicely Fox Smith's Other Poems
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Comments about this poem (The North Sea Ground by Cicely Fox Smith )
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
- Raymond J Wright
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
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(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
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(13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
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