Cicely Fox Smith

(1882-1954 / England)

A Wool Fleet Chorus Poem by Cicely Fox Smith


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!

Submitted: Monday, August 30, 2010

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