Cicely Fox Smith

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

The Anchor Watch - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith

O shipmates all, as you lay sleeping
(Blow, boys, blow!)
Across the world the day came creeping
(Blow, boys, bully boys, blow!)
With a cold wet wind the shrouds were shaking,
And in all the port was no one waking,
In the morning watch and the grey dawn breaking
(Blow, boys, bully boys, blow!)

I saw a ship come down the river
(Blow, boys, blow!)
In the morning light her sails did shiver
(Blow, boys, bully boys, blow!)
I saw the sun on her royals gleaming
And her gilded trucks in the dawn a-gleaming,
And the bubbled foam of her bow-wave streaming -
(Blow, boys, bully boys, blow!)

I heard the gulls all round her calling
(Blow, boys, blow!)
I heard the watch on the braces hauling
(Blow, boys, bully boys, blow!)
I heard their voices over the water -
'O Shenandoah, I love your daughter' -
And the dash o' the tide on her weather quarter
(Blow, boys, bully boys, blow!)

Then like a cloud she broke and lifted
(Blow, boys, blow!)
Her spars did melt, her sails they drifted
(Blow, boys, bully boys, blow!)
And all that I saw was a white mist flying,
All that I heard, the grey gulls crying,
And the tide's sob and the wind's sighing. . . .
And one far call out of dreams replying
(Blow, boys, bully boys, blow!)


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Poem Submitted: Monday, August 30, 2010



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