Cicely Fox Smith

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

The Liverpool Ship - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith

Oh, it's of a spanking clipper,
And she flew the old Black Ball,
With her staysails and her stunsails
And her Jamie Green and all;
'Sixty days to Hell or Melbourne,'
So you'd hear the old man say,
Under royals in the forties,
Romping down to Hobson Bay.
'Crack her on with all she'll carry,
What she can't she'll have to drag!'
Was the way they used to work things
Underneath the Black Ball flag . . .

When it was 'Blow, bullies, blow,
On a Circle southward ho!
You can let her rip - she's a Liverpool ship,
And you bet she's bound to go!'

Oh, it's of a tall Cape Horner
Loaded down with 'Frisco grain,
On the last lap of her voyage
Round the world and home again -
Plunging eastward through the greybeards
Where they thunder from the Pole,
Dipping deep her lee mainyard-arm
In the drink with every roll:
With her three year's rust upon her,
And her sailors sick for home
And the Fastnet's blink of welcome
Out across the lonely foam . . .

For it was 'Blow, bullies, blow,
From Californ-i-o!
She's a Liverpool ship, so let her rip,
And she's surely bound to go!'

Oh, it's of a dandy liner
With her passengers and mails,
Plugging through it trim and steady
In the equinoctial gales,
With her paint and brass a-shining
And her flag of far renown,
And her ports at night-time flashing
Like a blessed floating town,
And her mighty engines pulsing,
And her white wake flowing wide,
And the parted rollers streaming
From her high and cliff-like side . . .

And it's 'Blow, bullies, blow,
East and West and to and fro -
She's a Liverpool ship, so let her rip,
For you bet she's bound to go!'

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, August 31, 2010

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