Cicely Fox Smith

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

Rolling Home - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith

Oh, there's places up and down that are queer and quaint and pretty;
Sydney's a pleasant port, Frisco's a giddy city;
But the day's bound to come when your heart begins to weary
Of big cities and small, gay cities and dreary,
For an island in the sea, and the kind rain falling,
When you break your anchor out, with your heart in the hauling.

Heave, and wake the dead! . . . Oh, if folks would do it for me,
It's I would carry on though gales blew ne'er so stormy;
Oh, if I was a Finn I would whistle up fair weather
All the way from here to England . . . oh, heave together!

Good, ah, good it is when you're young, and all's before ye,
For to leave the things you know and the old land that bore ye,
For to know many lands and to see many places;
But the warm English hearts and the kind English faces,
But a fireside you know and a red fire there burning,
Good they are to think about when you're homeward turning.

Heave and come she must . . . for to-morrow's got to find us
Laying homeward all we know, kicking up the dust behind us;
We've a long road to travel, and the more that we linger,
Why, the longer till we're home . . . so heave and bring her!

Oh, we may be half a year or we may be rather longer,
And if but the wind blow fair, then I wish it may blow stronger;
Just a few thousand miles, or perhaps a little further,
Just a few thousand miles till at long last we berth her,
Till by harbour lights we know at the last we steer in . . .
And if Christmas Day is past, why we'll bring the New Year in!

Heave and break her out! . . . We've a little way to cover,
But we'll go all the way gay and lightly like a lover
With a posy for his lass and a ring for her finger . . .
Heave and break her out . . . heave all, and bring her!

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Poem Submitted: Monday, August 30, 2010

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