Cicely Fox Smith

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

The Sailor's Garden - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith

There's a soft wind singing in the idle rigging,
High tide splashing, and a young pale moon,
Lights in a window and a fiddle jigging
Over and over there the same short tune.

Oh, was it the tide along the ship's side sighing,
Or was it the sighing wind that breaths and blows,
Came like a voice across the deep crying,
Set my heart a-thinking how my garden grows?

Five years ago it was I planted roses,
Five years ago (the bush is grown a tree):
Five years ago, and once I've seen my posies,
Five years ago - and once they bloomed for me!

I was home in Spring, bloom was in May then,
Birds all were building and buds were on the tree!
When the birds were flown, oh, I was far away then;
When the rose was open I was far at sea.

I was home in autumn; winds of cold November
Shaking the leaf that shivered on the tree;
Brown leaves that sighed of sorrow to remember
Flowers that had fallen and I far at sea.

Oh, many are the roads that lead you here and yonder,
Oh, many are the ways about the world that go;
But the longest way of all's the sailor's way to wander
To the good North Country and an Isle I know.

Oh, many are the winds about the seas a-singing,
Oh, many are the songs they sing both night and noon:
But whether it be good or ill that they come bringing
The best of all's the wind that blows us home in June.

Home, home in June - and soon to be a-going;
Home, home in June - we may not long remain;
Home, home in June, just to see the garden growing,
And then fare you well till you greet us home again.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, August 31, 2010

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