Cicely Fox Smith

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

Mike's Fancy - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith

'You can 'ave your lights o' London, you can keep your great White Way:
They're well enough,' said Murphy, 'when you're out to burn your pay:
They're right enough for some folks, but them folks' tastes ain't mine,
For, Lord, gimme a little burg an' then I'm suited fine.'

'A sawmill an' a Chink store an' a two-by-four-saloon,
Where the loggers dance in couples to a cracked piano's tune,
A slashin' Clyde fourposter loadin' lumber at the quay,
An' a sailor's welcome waitin' when a ship blows in from sea.'

'A big port's bitter lonesome, an' it's bitter cruel too
When you're down and out,' said Murphy, 'an you've wore your welcome through,
You can lie down in the dirt an' die an' who in thunder'll care?
That's why I like a little burg - a feller's someone there!'

'Just a few adobe 'ouses on a bloomin' dusty shore
With the frozen peaks be'ind 'em an' the sunset seas afore:
But the tinklin' o' the mule-bells some'ow allus seems to say:
'Ello, Mistaire Inglees sailorman, 'ow long you goin' to stay?''

'An' when I chuck up sailin', which I some day likely will -
When I've seen the best there is to see from China to Brazil -
When there's nowheres else I want to go from Singapore to Nome -
Why, I'll find me out some little burg where I can feel at 'ome . . .'

'A street of whitewashed 'ouses and an 'arbour somewheres nigh,
Where you smell the fish an' seaweed an' the nets spread out to dry,
With a pub for winter evenin's where shellbacks' yarns are told,
An' a corner by the fireside for a bloke that's getting' old.'

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Poem Submitted: Monday, August 30, 2010

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