Cicely Fox Smith

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

Bill The Dreamer - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith

'Some day when I'm rich (said Bill) I'm going to leave the sea,
Sail an' steam alike 'll see the livin' last o' me;
And 'bout ship or heave her to, they'll rouse me out no more,
In a quiet cottage like I've often seen ashore,
With hen and chickens, daisies growin' by the door.'

'Quiet will the days come and easy will go,
Smoking of my pipe there and workin' with a hoe,
And thinkin' of poor mates o' mine toiling in the cold
That hadn't sense to leave it an' they growing old.'

'For when all's said and done, lads, it's little short o' sin
To spend your money foolish that's bitter hard to win;
I'll save my pay a year or two, and then I'll sail no more,
Sitting down so easy in my little place ashore.'

And so went his yarn on and so would he say -
Round the Horn with hurricanes blowing all the way,
All the way from Callao trudging home again
To the Bar light shining in the cold and rain.

But who's to keep from share and share with friends o' the best?
And girls along the waterfront, they'll help to spend the rest;
And the cottage and the garden and the daisies by the door,
They went the way of many dreams when sailors come to shore.

And he's rolling down to Rio with a drunken Dago crew,
And the deadheads under hatches till they get their groaning through;
Yes, he's rolling down to Rio as he's often done before,
And will do till the day comes for Bill to sail no more,
When the ninth wave, the last wave, shall bring him to shore!

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Poem Submitted: Monday, August 30, 2010

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