Cicely Fox Smith

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

The Ships He Served Of Old - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith

The ships he served of old,
When blood was young and hot,
Long wrecked or scrapped or sold;
Their very names forgot;

The ships that raced the wool,
The grain, the jute, the tea,

And proud

Cold Alps of shining snow,
He knows them one and all,
The fast ships and the slow,
The big ships and the small,

Knows too each glimmering queen
Or carven king they bore,
Each dragon gold and green,
Armed knight or turbaned Moor . . .

The last rose leaves the skies,
The river breeze blows chill;
But still with age-dimmed eyes
He dreams, as old men will,

His pipe between his lips;
Still, dreaming, seems to see
The lost and lovely ships
That no one sees but he.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, August 31, 2010

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