Cicely Fox Smith

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

Dan's Fortune - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith

'I've made my fortune once,' said Dan,
'A nice little pile for a sailorman,
Along o' salvin' a Dago barque
We picked up once on the edge o' dark
The time I was bound from 'Frisco 'ome
In Clay's old 'ooker
The mess she was in 'ud make you shudder,
But we rigged 'er up a jury rudder
An' brought 'er 'ome in a beast of a gale
Under what could be spared o' the mate's shirt-tail:
An' they treated us 'and some, so they did,
For they dished us out a 'undred quid,
Bill an' Ginger an' Shorty an' me -
An' that was the end o' that,' said he.

'An' I thought as I'd marry a gal I knowed,
An' set up shop off o' Redriff Road,
An' call it 'The Occidental Bar,'
Or 'The Sailor's Delight,' or 'The Baltic Star,'
With a winder full o' chops an' steaks,
An' pickled cabbage an' fancy cakes,
An' the model I'd made o' the

For to make old shellbacks feel at 'ome:
An' chaps from Boston an' Bombay
They'd say: 'If ever you're London way
You just drop in at Dan's,' they'd say,
'For the best o' grub both cold an' 'ot
You'll get it all at Dan's, that's what.''

'But I blowed the lot on a nine-day's spree,
Both ends an' the bight of a jamboree:
It went in bowlers an' blue serge suits
An' stick-up collars an' square-toed boots,
An 'orseshoe tie-pin fit for a king,
A watch an' drops an' a diamond ring:
It went in treatin' an 'undred pals,
Blouses an' brooches an' fun for the gals,
Beer an' whisky an' cheap champagne,
Drinks for the crowd an' drinks again,
An' just another afore we go -
An' where the rest went

'But I come to myself 'alfway down Channel,
With an 'ead like lead an' a tongue like flannel,
An' a down-east mate with a face like a foot
Ticklin' my ribs with the toe o' 'is boot:
An' I 'and't no watch an' I 'and't no pin,
An' I 'and't no tie for to stick one in,
An' the sharks an' the lubbers you bet they was gay
A-lickin' their chops on Ratcliff 'Ighway
Over one more fool of a sailorman -
An' that was the end o' that,' said Dan.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, August 30, 2010

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