Cicely Fox Smith

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

Casey An' Me - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith

First I knowed Casey him an' me was young,
An' many a yard we h'isted, an' many a stave we sung
In Macfarlane's clipper
Merlin
, skysail-yarder, her as come
Round in ninty days from 'Frisco, first of all the grain fleet 'ome.

An' I wish she was a-sailin' for 'Frisco once again
With a sandy Glasgow skipper an' a kickin' mate from Maine,
With a Finn an' a Frenchy, an' a woolly Portugee,
A Scotchman, a Dutchman, an' Casey an' me!

She was 'ard an' she was 'ungry, she was wet an' she was wild,
An' the bread was mostly weevils, an' the duff was mostly sp'iled,
An' the mate 'e was a terror, an' the bosun e' was worse,
An' the crowd o' greasers forrard they'd 'a' made an angel curse.

First I knowed Casey - Lord! It's long since then:
The old
Merlin
went a-missin' nineteen-nine - or was it ten?
An' I last crossed 'awse with Casey once ashore in Callao,
But I couldn't say when that was - years an' donkeys' years ago.

But I wish I was a-haulin' outer Salthouse Dock this day,
With the Mersey gulls a-pipin' an' the mornin' breakin' grey,
Sweatin' up the topsail yards, roarin' out in chorus,
All the bloomin' world to see, all our years afore us…

In the skysail clipper
Merlin
, bound for 'Frisco once again,
With a sandy Glasgow skipper an' a kickin' mate from Maine,
With a Finn an' a Frenchy, an' a woolly Portugee,
A Scotchman, a Dutchman, an' Casey an' me!


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Poem Submitted: Monday, August 30, 2010



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