Cicely Fox Smith

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

Figureheads - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith

'You never see a decent figure'ead -
Not now,' Bill said,
'A fiddlin' bit o' scroll-work at the bow
That's the most now . . .
But Lord! I've seen some beauties, more'n a few,
An' some rare rum uns, too.

'Folks in all sorts o' queer old-fashioned rigs -
Fellers in wigs -
Chaps in cocked 'ats an' 'elmets - lords an' dukes -
Folks out o' books -
Niggers in turbans - mandarins an' Moors -
An' 'eathen gods by scores.

'An' women in all kinds o' fancy dresses -
Queens an' princesses -
Witches on broomsticks, too - an' spankin' girls
With streamin' curls -
An' dragons, an' sea-serpents - Lord knows what
I've seen an' what I've not.

'An' some's in breakers' yards, bleached bare with time
An' thick with grime;
An' some stuck up in gardens here an' there
With plants for 'air;
An' no one left as knows but chaps like me
How fine with paint and gold they used to be
In them old days at sea.'

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Poem Submitted: Monday, August 30, 2010

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