Cicely Fox Smith
Gerrans Churchtown - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith
The spire at Gerrans Churchtown, it stands up bold and high,
It stands above the harbour and sees the ships go by;
It sees the long tides breaking from the Gull to Lizard Head,
The blue-lights and the searchlights, the living and the dead.
The lads of Gerrans Churchtown, a roving breed are they,
With their mothers' milk they tasted the salt wind and the spray;
The sea was first their playmate, he licked their feet with foam,
The lads of Gerrans Churchtown that could not bide at home.
The lads of Gerrans Churchtown, they're where they're wanted now,
They cleave their fathers' furrow, their grandsires' field they plough, -
A field of many acres from Scapa Flow to Nore, -
And the old men pull the lifeboat, and the young lads watch the shore.
And will they come at long last? . . . Ay, surely they will come,
Some day - a day to dream of - that brings the Grand Fleet home -
From peril, toil and glory, and battles overpast,
The bells of Gerrans Churchtown shall ring them home at last.
Will all them come together? . . . Not those whose hearts are still
In a wider green God's-acre than lies on Gerrans hill;
It's a brighter sun they look on than sets in yonder West,
And a sweeter bell than Gerrans' has rung them to their rest.
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