Cicely Fox Smith

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

The Red Duster (R. N. R. Demobilised) - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith

Oh, some will save their Navy pay and take their ease ashore
And some will sit at an office desk and go to sea no more,
And some will follow the blooming plough and hear the skylark's song,
But oh! it's me for the old Red Duster, for that's where I belong.

I'll sign and sail in the Lord knows what - I'll go to Lord knows where -
From Hudson's Bay I'll beat my way to the Straits of old Le Mair;
From Pernambuck to Palembang, and I know I'll not go wrong
So long's I'm under the old Red Duster, for that's where I belong.

I'll take a turn in the Black Sea trade, a trick on the Gulf Ports run,
I'll feel the bite of the Cape Horn cold, and the burn o' the Perim sun;
I'll make the round of the blessed lot from the Gunfleet to Hong-Kong,
When I get back to the old Red Duster - the place where I belong.

I'll ship aboard of the first that comes, and any old thing'll do,
And I don't much care if she's sail or steam, or whether she's old or new,
There'll be never a tramp too foul for me, nor a spounter smell too strong,
So long's I'm under the old Red Duster - for that's where I belong!

For Navy chaps are Navy chaps - good luck to all and one!
And Navy ways are Navy ways - and now the fighting's done,
I'm sick at heart for a shellback's yarn my old-time pals among,
And oh! It's me for the old Red Duster, for that's where I belong!


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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, August 31, 2010



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