Cicely Fox Smith

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

By The Old Pagoda Anchorage [1926] - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith

By the old Pagoda Anchorage they lay full fifteen strong,
And their spars were like a forest, and their names were like a song,

Fiery Cross
and
Falcon
there
Lay with
Spindrift
, doomed and fair,
And
Sir Lancelot
of a hundred famous fights with wind and wave:

Belted Will
and
Hallowe'en

With
Leander
there were seen,
And
Ariel
and
Titania
and
Robin Hood
the brave:

Thyatira
of the lovely name and proud
Thermopylae
,
By the old Pagoda Anchorage when clippers sailed the sea,
Racing home to London River -
Carry on for London River -
Crack her on for London River with her chests of China tea!

By the old Pagoda Anchorage (it's many a year ago!)
A sight it was to see them with their decks like drifted snow,
And their brasses winking bright,
And the gleaming gold and white
Of the carven kings and maidens on each slim and soaring bow,
And the high and slender spars
Humming shanties to the stars,
And the hulls whose speed and staunchness are a dead man's secret now -
The ships so brave and beautiful that never more shall be,
By the old Pagoda Anchorage when clippers sailed the sea,
Racing home to London River -
Crack her on for London River -
Carry on for London River with her chests of China tea!

By the old Pagoda Anchorage the clippers lie no more,
There is silence on the river, there is quiet on the shore,
And the silted channels seem
Still to murmur as in dream
Of the tea ships in their glory, lifting sea-ward on the tide,
All the strong and fair and fleet,
By those shores that used to meet,
And the valiant master mariners that walked their decks in pride,
By the old Pagoda Anchorage when clippers sailed the sea,
Logging fourteen on a bowline, ay, and seventeen running free,
Racing home for London River -
Crack her on for London River -
Carry on for London River with her chests of China tea!


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Poem Submitted: Monday, August 30, 2010



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