Cicely Fox Smith

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

Dead Man's Bay - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith

I thought I heard the Old Man say,
(Leave her, Johnnie, leave her!)
'Her course is set for Dead Man's Bay
(And it's time for us to leave her!)
Dead Man's Bay where the old ships lie
(Leave her, Johnnie, leave her!)
When deepsea days are all gone by!'
(And it's time for us to leave her!)

Time for us to leave her, Johnnie, time to go!
The same seas'll toss us, the same winds blow;
We'll have our fun and folly, dreaming and desire,
And she gone to ashes on a landward fire.

Ah, the grand old days, Johnnie! - wind and weather,
Days of sun and nights of storm we knew together, -
The game we played with old Cape Stiff and our lives the stake,
Turn and say good-bye, Johnnie, for old sake's sake!

Long and long after, far and far away,
Maybe you'll remember, maybe then you'll say,
When you hear an old name spoken or an old song sung:
'Ay, once we sailed in her, when she and we were young.'

Old men nodding by a hearth ashore…
Old ships decaying that use the sea no more . . .
That's the way it goes, Johnnie, since the world begun,
And it's time for us to leave her, for her day is done!

And to Dead Man's Bay she's bound at last
(Leave her, Johnnie, leave her!)
Where storm and shine alike are past
(And it's time for us to leave her!)
No more labour, no more laughter,
(Leave her, Johnnie, leave her!)
One more watch and a long sleep after
(And it's time for us to leave her!)

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Poem Submitted: Monday, August 30, 2010

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