Cicely Fox Smith

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

Poor Old Ship - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith

She wasn't much to brag about, she wasn't much to see,
A rusty, crusty hooker as a merchant ship could be;
They sunk her off the Longships Light as night was coming on,
And we had to go and leave her there, and, - poor old ship, she's gone!
All that was good of her, all that was bad of her,
All that we gave to her, all that we had of her,
Poor old ship, she's gone!

The times we spent aboard her, they was oftener bad than good,
But, good and bad, we'd live the lot all over if we could;
She's stood her trick the same as us, she's had her whack of fun,
She's shared it all with sailormen, and, - poor old ship, she's done!
Hard times and soft times, and all times we've been with her;
Bad days and good days, and all sorts we've seen with her,
And, poor old ship, she's done!

She's stuck her crazy derricks up by half a hundred quays,
She's dipped her dingy Duster in the spray of all the seas,
Her funnel's caked with Cape Horn ice and blistered in the sun,
She's moseyed round above a bit, and, - poor old ship, she's done!
North seas and South - and they've all had a go at her,
Hot winds and cold - and they've all had a blow at her,
Poor old ship, she's done!

She's trailed her smudge the wide world round in weather grey and blue,
She's churned a half-score oceans with her blooming nine-knot screw;
She's sampled all the harbour mud from Cardiff to Canton,
And she'll never fetch another port, for, poor old ship, she's gone!
Ports up and down - and she's seen many a score of 'em;
High seas and low - and she won't sail no more of 'em -
Poor old ship, she's gone!

And chaps that knowed her in their time, 'tween London and Rangoon,
In many a sailor's drinking-place and waterfront saloon,
Will set their drinks down when they hear her blooming yarn is spun,
And say, 'I sailed aboard her once, and,-poor old ship, she's done!
Many's the hard word I once used to spend on her
Ah, them was great days - and now there's an end on her -
Poor old ship, she's done!'

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Poem Submitted: Monday, August 30, 2010

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