Cicely Fox Smith
Bill - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith
His age on the ship's books is fifty-four:
It's stood at that this twenty years or more.
He's had no schooling, so he makes his mark
With a fist that's gnarled and hard and brown as bark.
He remembers the great days of the tea clippers
Back in the 'fifties, when the racing skippers
Cracked on to glory - served in great old ships
That were lost or burned or wrecked or gone to chips
When we were in our cradles. Ay, he knew
Once Captain Forbes of the
'A sandy bloke he was - ginger for pluck
As the saying goes - but sp'iled by too much luck.'
He makes square sennet better than all the rest:
Even our bosun's got to give him best.
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