Cicely Fox Smith
Sailor’s Pleasure - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith
When the time comes, as it will, that I go to sea no longer -
Though maybe, please the Lord, that day’ll not be yet -
I don’t want to forget the years when I was younger
The way a lot of old men seem to forget.
I want to have it all there as plain as writing,
To keep and turn over again in my mind -
All the work and play, the fun and the fighting,
And maybe a woman or two that was kind.
I want to recall my shipmates and the look of their faces,
Folk I like or didn’t, afloat and ashore,
And the loveliness of ships and the queerness of foreign places;
Io want to think about them after I see them no more.
I want to remember it all - like some fellow hauling his chest out
For a spell of sailor’s pleasure in the South-East Trade,
Turning his gear, his bottled ships and the rest out,
Calling to mind how he got them or when they were made.
I want to think about things like the dawn scarlet and splendid
After a night of storm; the wind and the rain and the sun;
Good times or bad times - what’s the odds when they’re ended?
They’re all good to remember when they’re finished and done.
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