My Personal Website

Escape from the daily round

A little white dinghy moored to the quayside
by an old iron ring that’s rusted and worn,
bobs upwards and backwards on the incoming tide
and turns just a little to windward with pride -
the soul that remains of a people forlorn,
whose memories are railways and trams and the tide
and old stone cottages and sails on the wind
and horses and carts and the toll on the Cob
and happy home fires safe from biting West wind
that howls through the vale when the vane’s so inclined,
when every man’s glad to finish his job
and go home to the warmth for which his heart’s pined.

When twighlight has dimmed into darkness
there is nought left but the murmuring of the seas
save the twinkling lights round the old harbour wall
where shadows of galleons are anchored forever
’mid phantoms of sailors and capstans turning
and ancients with pipes of tobacco burning:
take me back I do implore, Old Father Time,
take me back to the happiness that would be mine
were it that I could escape from worldly sorrows
to the dreams of night, from which all men borrow
antidotes for ailments of reality,
which oft’ are wont to cite this locality.

How I love to walk o’er the cliff’s rocky paths
when mid-channel buoys in the moonlight are caught
as silvery phantoms stealing out from port
while the harbourmaster’s lying in his bath
and the cutter lies o’er the bar round the point
and the customs man’s put his toe out of joint.
To lie on the sand ’neath the star spangled haze
and think about love of all men is my joy
beyond the present happiness of my gaze
over the rocks and breakers and beacons and buoys,
until at last there is nothing more to see
and I give thanks for eternal destiny.

And oh, for the buffet of the wind and waves
which the fates for my contented moments save,
so that cold and shivering I can walk back home
to a piping hot bath with mountains of foam,
or dash through the streets at a cracking good pace
driven on by the urge of winning the race;
and when the day’s over and wrestling is done
then there’s nothing to do but discuss the fun
of the day’s entertainments, vigorous and wild,
as we stand at the bar with our pints of mild
in Jacobean jugs, after being well fed:
and then we go home to crawl into bed.