Cicely Fox Smith
Port O' Dreams - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith
'There's a deal o' ports,' said Murphy, 'an' I guess I've sampled most,
Round about the Gulf o' Guinea, and up an' down the Chili coast,
In the Black Sea an' the Baltic an' the China seas I've been,
An' the North Sea an' the South Sea an' the places in between.
An' the ports as look the finest turns out some'ow worst of all,
For I lost my chum in Rio in a Dago dancin' 'all,
An' I lost my bloomin' 'eart once to a wench in Callao,
An' I lost my youth in Frisco . . . but that's years an' years ago.
But there's one I've never sighted out of all the ports there be;
It's a place a feller talked of as was shipmates once with me,
In the hooker
Maid of Athens
, she was one of Dunc MacNeill's,
She went missin' many a year since bound from Steveston home with deals.
An' this feller said the drinks there are the best a man could find,
An' a sailor's always welcome, an' the girls are always kind,
An' there's dancin' an' there's singin' an' there's every sort o' fun,
In the plaza of an evenin' when the lazy sun is done.
An' the blessed old Pacific he keeps singin' like a psalm,
To the shippin' in the roadstead an' the firefly in the palm,
An' the days are never scorchin' an' the nights are never 'ot,
In that port 'e used to yarn of with the name I've clean forgot.
An' I'll never fetch that harbour, but it's maybe for the best,
For I daresay if I found it, it'd be like all the rest,
An' I like to think it's waitin', waitin' all the while for me,
With the red wine an' the white wine an' the dancin' an' the spree,
An' the firefly gleamin' golden in the palms I'll never see!'
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