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Cicely Fox Smith

A Sea Burthen

A ship swinging
As the tide swings, up and down,
And men's voices singing, -
East away O! West away!
And a very long way from London Town!

A lantern glowing
And stars looking down,
And the sea smells blowing, -
East away O! West away!
And a very long way from London Town!

Lights in wild weather
From a tavern window old and brown,
And men singing together, -
East away O! West away!
And a very long way from London Town!

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Tower Of Babel

Annabel Lee

Is the name on the label,
Reckon it ought to be

Tower of Babel
,

For there ain't a lingo
That's spoke or swore in
From San Domingo
To Tuti-
cor
-in,

From the Pole or near it
To Pernambuker
But what you'll 'ear it
On board this 'ooker.

[...] Read more

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London Pool

London Pool's in London town,
Ay, boys! O boys!
London Pool's in London town,
Where the great ships anchor down!
O to shake the canvas free,
Hear the cordage cheerily
Whistling to the open sea
Down from London Pool, O!

London Pool's a crowded place,
Ay, boys! O boys!
London Pool's a crowded place,
Crafts and crews of every race!
O to hear the clanking chain
Trail along the wharf again, -
Hear the tautening ropes astrain
Down from London Pool, O!

London Pool's a gallant sight,
Ay, boys! O boys!

[...] Read more

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Roll Along Home!

I though I heard the old man say -
'Aye, aye, roll along home! -
Bound home for old England we're sailing to-day -
Heave up the anchor and roll along home!
The pilot's aboard and the capstan is manned,
Blue Peter's a-waving farewell to the land,
For after long waiting our orders have come
To heave up the anchor and roll along home -
Roll - roll along home!'

The sails they are bent and the cargo is stowed -
Aye, aye, roll along home! -
And far will her way be and lonely her road -
Shake out the topsails and roll along home!
Yes, long is the road through the storm and the shine
That brings me back home to you, true love of mine;
No longer I'll wander, no further I'll roam,
But shake out my topsails and roll along home -
Roll - roll along home!'

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The Yeoman's Son

It fell about the edge of dark,
Between the sun and moon,
The yeoman's son came home again
With the mire upon his shoon -

With the red clay upon his shoon
From a furrowed field afar -
The sour and bitter clod that breaks
Beneath the share of war.

'Oh, kiss me once on the brows, mother,
And hold me to your breast;
For the long day's work is over and done,
And I go glad to rest.'

'And oh, good-bye, my father's house,
Good-bye to field and hill,
For I'll lie down in the red furrow
To sleep, and sleep my fill.'

[...] Read more

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London River

Half a score o' sailormen that want to sail once more,
Cruising round the waterside with the Peter at the fore!
Half a score o' sailormen the sea will never drown -
Seven days in open boats a-drifting up and down! -
Out to find another ship and sail from London Town!

Half a score o' sailormen broke and on the rocks,
Linking down Commercial Road, tramping round the Docks,
Half a score o' sailormen, torpedoed twice before,
Once was in the Channel chops, once was off the Nore,
Last was in the open sea five hundred mile from shore!

Half a score o' sailormen that want to sail again -
And her cargo's all aboard her, and it's blowing up for rain!
Half a score o' sailormen that won't come home to tea -
For she's dropping down the river with the Duster flying free -
Down the London River on the road to the open sea!

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Little Waxy

Wake, little Waxy! Hunting-time again,
The short days and goodly, the clean Autumn rain:
In the old North country, in the grey open weather,
Hounds upon the moorland chiming all together.

This year in dough and hollow the stream's song sounds the same:
On every windy hillside the grasses burn like flame:
Where the empty air is loud with the peewit's lonely crying
And the call o' the moorland gale to the bird's call replying.

Wake, little Waxy! Voices that you know
Set the upland ringing where the hill-breezes blow;
In the brave North country, in the grey open weather,
Up and Join the chorus, hound and horn together!

Ah, little Waxy! Hunting days are done,
Nevermore the brown field and the rain and the sun -
Only the memories left, o'er the Autumn fields that hover,
Of the brave runs ended, lass, the good days over!

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The Witch Of Mull

'Witch of Mull, the strangers here
Come to wreak their vengeance drear:
Call the wind and call the wrack;
Drown them, drive them, beat them back!'

Wind and wave are wild in Morvern.


'Gormla, speed! Their magic powers
Calm the deep and baffle ours:
Aid us, thou who know'st full well
Strongest brew and blackest spell!'

Wind and wave are wild in Morvern.


Magpies twelve upon the mast
Call aloud to wave and blast'
'Bonnily on Morvern shore
Shall we feast when all is o'er!'

[...] Read more

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The Furrow

An old horse to the furrow - an old man to the plough -
For the young horse and the young lad, they're needed yonder now -

The horse, so young and mettled he scarce had known the rein,
That shook his feathered fetlocks and tossed his streaming mane -

The lad that used to drive him, so strong and straight and tall,
That dressed him fine with ribbons and groomed him in the stall.

Ah, there as here, old Captain, we know, both I and you,
He'll drive a straight furrow as he always used to do!

The clods before the ploughshare fall heavily apart,
But never a clod among them so heavy as my heart -

To smell the clean earth breaking and the kind country smells,
And think o' the stink and reek there, and the bursting o' the shells.

An old horse to the furrow - an old man to the plough -
And the young horse and the young lad . . . how fare they yonder now?

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A Wool Fleet Chorus

Fare you well, you Sydney girls, time for us to go!
The Peter's at the fore truck, and five thousand bales below,
We've a dozen shellbacks forrard, and a skipper hard as nails,
And we're bound for old England and the January sales!

Soon we'll leave the Snares behind, blusterous and strong
Up'll come the Westerlies and hustle her along:
Running like a driven deer through the thundering gales,
Racing under royals for the January Sales!

Old Cape Stiff 'll drop astern, like a blinking dream,
Sleet and snow and crashing seas, fog and ice'll seem,
Snoring through the Tropics with a Trade that never fails,
Nor'ard on a bowline for the January sales!

Then the girls'll get her towrope, and she'll smell the land again,
And she'll reel the knots off steady as a blessed railway train,
Till seventy days from Sydney Heads the Lizard light she hails -
First to the Channel for the January sales!

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