Cicely Fox Smith
Mariquita - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith
Old man Time, 'e's wrote his log up in the wrinkles on my brow,
And there ain't that much about me as a girl 'ud take to now;
For I've changed beyond all knowing from the chap I used to be,
When I can remember Mariquita, as was mighty fond o' me!
I can shut my eyes and see it just as plain as yesterday,
See the harbour and the mountains and the shipping in the bay,
And the town as looked like heaven to us shellbacks fresh from sea
And I can remember Mariquita, as thought a deal o' me!
I can hear the chiming mule-bells, and a stave o' Spanish song,
And the blessed old guitarros as kep' tinkling all night long;
Hear the dusty palm trees stirring, taste the vino flat and sour,
And I can remember Mariquita, and her white skirts like a flower.
But it's years now since I've seen her, if she's died I never knew,
Or got old and fat and ugly, same as Dagoes mostly do;
And it's maybe better that way, for there's nothing left but change,
And the ships I knew all going, and the ports I knew grown strange,
And the chaps I knew all altered, like the chap I used to be,
But I can remember Mariquita, and she's always young for me.
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