Cicely Fox Smith

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

Sailor's Farewell - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith

Lovely is the white town, and smiling it lies
With little green gardens underneath the blue skies,
Days so full of sunshine, nights so full of glee, -
Oh, a fair place, a rare place, for sailors in from sea.

A pleasant place to come to for ships long from land,
A bright place, a light place, with mirth on every hand,
Is the white smiling city by the blue Pacific shore . . .
And I wish in my heart I may never see it more.

There's a wide white plaza where folks pass to and fro,
And a drowsy tune sounding on all the winds that blow,
Church-bells all the morning, fiddles all the night . . .
Oh, a neat place, a sweet place, for sailormen's delight!

But it's heave and break her out . . . and the best tune of all
Is the rattle of the windlass, the clicking of the pawl,
And the steady wind a-blowing, yes, blowing off the shore,
From the white smiling city that I would see no more.

For cruel is the white town for all it looks so fair,
There's a cloud upon the sunshine and there's sorrow everywhere,
And blue as Mary Mother's robe the sea is and the sky . . .
But a bitter hate I'll bear it until the day I die!

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Poem Submitted: Monday, August 30, 2010

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