Cicely Fox Smith

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

The Lost Ship - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith

Come you up from southward, oh, come you there - away?
And saw you not my ship there that's late now many a day?
And touched you ne'er a port where she came a-sailing thither?
Where's the barque
and all her people with her?

Ah, good-bye and fare you well now, ship and sailor:
Ah, good-bye, for never harbour more shall hail her:
Ask the unsleeping drift if still it lifts her westing,
Or the Tuscarora Deeps if there she's resting.

Home, come home: it is no use at all to linger:
Never will be tide so late that it will bring her:
Salt like tears the scud is, cold the sea tides streaming:
Never will you greet your man but in your dreaming,

Ask the roaring Norther: ask the berg that broke her:
Ask the growlers of the Horn where last they spoke her.
Ask the seas that, pouring through the splintered hatches,
Last relieved for good and all her labouring watches.

Ask the crazy gale that, hither-thither shifting,
Snatched the last tired chantey stave their lips were lifting.
Ask the Austral lights that in their dances reeling
Mocked across the empty skies her flares' appealing.

Ask the lonely dawn that, scarlet, silent, splendid,
Looked across the world and found the fight was ended.
Ask the wind and wave that bruised and broke and shook her . . .
And the sea's great silence at the last that took her.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, August 31, 2010

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