Cicely Fox Smith

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

In Great Waters - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith

Ho, ye valiant mariners, ho, my merry men,
Sought ye gems of Ophir, or gold of Darien?
Sank ye in the outer deep of waters cold and green,
Fighting for a king's sake, or serving for a queen?

'O not in royal service we sailed the seas for gain
Nor laden with rich treasure that's dug in reef and vein:
We serve a harder mistress, we earn a poorer fee,
Salt wind, an' storm-wrack, an' silver o' the sea.'

'Ye make no tomb to our fair name, no song to our renown,
When the northern gales destroy us, and the icebergs drive us down.
For us no sod is holy, for us no death-bell tolls,
Nor children keep our graves gay for resting of our souls.'

'O the white flowers above us are flowers o' the foam,
The foam that's salt with women's tears that fishers leave at home;
O deeper than the deepest mine we lie full lonesomely,
Who delve at peril of our lives for silver o' the sea.'


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Poem Submitted: Monday, August 30, 2010



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