Cicely Fox Smith

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

Deep Sea Plunderings - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith

If one could be mine for the asking
Of all the ships there be,
The great and small and swift and tall
That sail the salty sea,
No battleship or mailboat,
No clipper fair and fine,
No yacht bescrolled with white and gold
Is the one I'd ask for mine.

For some are too big for my fancy,
And some are too grand for me,
But a schooner smart is the ship of my heart,
Or a saucy brig maybe;
I'd fit her out with all things needful,
And then I would sign a crew
Of shipmates tried to stand by my side,
A cat, and a cockatoo.

We'd wave good-bye to the lighthouse,
And the buoy on the leaping bar,
At the wind's sweet will our sails we'd fill,
We'd steer by a wandering star.
We'd follow the southbound swallow
To the coasts of sun and sand,
Where the desert drowns the ancient towns
In the heart of a thirsty land.

We'd take a slant to the northward
To the ice and the Arctic snows;
Then south again to the West Wind's reign
And the seas where the White Whale blows.
We'd bask on the tropic beaches,
And watch where the bright fish pass
In the pools sand-strewn of the still lagoon,
Through the water as clear as glass.

We'd sail to the South Sea islands,
We'd call on a cannibal chief,
We'd fish for pearls where the long tide curls
On the fringe of the Barrier Reef;
We'd land on an isle uncharted,
Forgotten, far and lone,
And seek the hoard by a pirate stored
In a secret place unknown.

We'd ravage the coasts of wonder,
We'd plunder the ports of dream,
We'd store our hold with the Tropics' gold,
And the spoil of the spray-bow's gleam.
Till -- weary at last from sailing,
And tired of the wind and foam --
We'd steer once more for a well-loved shore,
And the open door of home!

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Poem Submitted: Monday, August 30, 2010

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