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Cecily Fox Smith: with a nautical theme

An English poet best known for her maritime folk poems

  • St. Andrew’s Eve
  • The last night of November 
  • All dreaming as I lay, 
  • I saw a fisher toiling 
  • In stormy seas and grey, — 
  • A glimmering seine-net casting 
  • In foam as white as wool . . . 
  • And sometimes it came empty, 
  • And sometimes it came full. 
  • That port that fisher hailed from 
  • Was the port of Heaven above: 
  • The shining net he cast there 
  • Was the net of Christ His love. 
  • That seine it shone like silver 
  • Or the Milky Way come down . . . 
  • And, oh! the catch he took there 
  • Was the souls of those who drown.
  • Rosemary
  • Rosemary for remembrance,— 
  • O gentle memories 
  • Of hours whose fragrance is like flowers 
  • In olden pleasaunces! 
  • When all the birds go South again 
  • And all the laughter’s o’er, 
  • Rosemary for remembrance 
  • Of days that are no more! 
  • Rosemary for remembrance
  • Of summer posies done,— 
  • And scarlet for midsummer joy 
  • And gold for noonday sun. 
  • God grant us in autumnal days, 
  • When brighter flowers have died, 
  • Rosemary for remembrance 
  • And dreams for eventide!
  • The Clock with One Finger
  • The clock with one finger 
  • Was made in the days 
  • When time used to linger 
  • By leisurely ways— 
  • When nobody reckoned 
  • (Or so we are told) 
  • Each fugitive, second 
  • More precious than gold, 
  • But the clocks, like the people, 
  • Took things as they came, 
  • And the chimes in the steeple 
  • Said mostly the same: — 
  • “Some day — no day — 
  • Maybe — one, day — 
  • Come day — go day — 
  • God — send — Sunday!”
Cicely Fox Smith

Cilely Fox Smith (1882-1954) was an English poet best known for her maritime folk poems and other verse with a nautical theme. In fact, so detailed were her sea poems that some of her readers who were weathered sailors assumed she was herself a sailor — and even a ship’s captain. Many of her poems have been put to music. Later in life, she wrote fiction and non-fiction as well, including a travelogue of her lifetime dream realized —a voyage around the coast of Africa —All the Way Around: Sea Roads to Africa. The British government recognized her efforts by awarding her a lifetime pension.

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  • St. Andrew’s Eve
  • The last night of November 
  • All dreaming as I lay, 
  • I saw a fisher toiling 
  • In stormy seas and grey, — 
  • A glimmering seine-net casting 
  • In foam as white as wool . . . 
  • And sometimes it came empty, 
  • And sometimes it came full. 
  • That port that fisher hailed from 
  • Was the port of Heaven above: 
  • The shining net he cast there 
  • Was the net of Christ His love. 
  • That seine it shone like silver 
  • Or the Milky Way come down . . . 
  • And, oh! the catch he took there 
  • Was the souls of those who drown.
  • Rosemary
  • Rosemary for remembrance,— 
  • O gentle memories 
  • Of hours whose fragrance is like flowers 
  • In olden pleasaunces! 
  • When all the birds go South again 
  • And all the laughter’s o’er, 
  • Rosemary for remembrance 
  • Of days that are no more! 
  • Rosemary for remembrance
  • Of summer posies done,— 
  • And scarlet for midsummer joy 
  • And gold for noonday sun. 
  • God grant us in autumnal days, 
  • When brighter flowers have died, 
  • Rosemary for remembrance 
  • And dreams for eventide!
  • The Clock with One Finger
  • The clock with one finger 
  • Was made in the days 
  • When time used to linger 
  • By leisurely ways— 
  • When nobody reckoned 
  • (Or so we are told) 
  • Each fugitive, second 
  • More precious than gold, 
  • But the clocks, like the people, 
  • Took things as they came, 
  • And the chimes in the steeple 
  • Said mostly the same: — 
  • “Some day — no day — 
  • Maybe — one, day — 
  • Come day — go day — 
  • God — send — Sunday!”
Cicely Fox Smith

Cilely Fox Smith (1882-1954) was an English poet best known for her maritime folk poems and other verse with a nautical theme. In fact, so detailed were her sea poems that some of her readers who were weathered sailors assumed she was herself a sailor — and even a ship’s captain. Many of her poems have been put to music. Later in life, she wrote fiction and non-fiction as well, including a travelogue of her lifetime dream realized —a voyage around the coast of Africa —All the Way Around: Sea Roads to Africa. The British government recognized her efforts by awarding her a lifetime pension.

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