Cicely Fox Smith

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

A Parting - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith

'I come ashore off a Cardiff tramp - the worst as ever I see:
She was all the things you could name,' said Bill, 'as a ship's no right to be:
She was gritty an' grimy an' smelly an' slimy, the same aloft as alow,
But it's allus 'ard at the last,' said he, 'when it's time for a man to go.'

'There was nothin' to pleasure a seaman's eye in the blessed whole shamozzle:
She was ugly as sin from her slab of a stern to her blunt old lump of a nozzle:
She rolled like a pig an' steered like a dray, she crawled like a bloomin' 'earse,
An' the things she done in a seaway, Lord, they'd make a parson curse.'

'But there I stood like a bloomin' fool on the quay in the drippin' weather
An' looked at 'er, an' thought o' the things us two 'ad seen together,
The work an' fun as was over an' done, the pals, the sprees ashore,
An' the times we'd 'ad both good an' bad as'd never come round no more.'

'An' I spat in the dock, an' I turned to go with a kind of a mist in my eye,
An' a fool of an ache in my fool of an 'eart as I said, 'Ol' girl, good-bye!'
For let 'em be good uns or let 'em be bad, an' let 'em be fast or slow,
It's allus the same with a ship,' said Bill, 'when it's time for a man to go.'

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Poem Submitted: Monday, August 30, 2010

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