Cicely Fox Smith

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

The Cutty Comes Back [1924] - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith

What says the Lizard,
Swinging high his shining spear? . . .
'Pass along, my lady,
I've known, ye many a year!'

Ay, many a time he's seen her,
All splendid from the sea,
Come swaving up from south'ard
With chests of China tea,
Or, loaded to her hatches
With Riverina, bales,
Lead home the racing wool fleet
Rip-roaring for the sales!

What says the wind's song
That lifts her on her way?
'Blow along, my sweetheart,
I've known ye many a day!'

Ay, many a day he's known her,
The salty Channel breeze,
And all his gusty brethren
That range the ridged seas,
But most of all the west winds
Whose stormy marches roll
A bleak and bitter kingdom, -
The Forties to the Pole . . .

The winds that drove the clippers
Like flying deer along,
The winds that break the weakling,
The winds that prove the strong!

What says old Atlantic
That crusts her bows with brine!
'Roll along, my beauty,
For you're a friend o' Mine!'

Ay, well old ocean knows her.
And well she knows him too,
His charging Biscay rollers,
His sunwarmed Tropic blue.
Both deep and shoal she knows him,
She knows him storm and shine,
Lashed white when typhoon rages,
Flat calm athwart the Line,
The swell that lift's the ice-pack
In fogbound seas forlorn,
The long Agulhas combers
And greybeards of the Horn.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, August 30, 2010

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