High tide-- and the ripples sparkled, Small boats lined the river side. High above the gulls encircled In the mornings golden light. I gazed across the changing docks: As boy I ran and played. Tarpaulins, timber, hempen ropes, Once more were dream-filled hideaways Anchors steam-winched, tugs a-churning, Hawsers stretching ship to shore. Seamen shouting, capstans turning, Women wait their men once more. Now phantoms tread the ancient steps, Smoking pipes while lock gates swing. And I proudly wait my father’s ship, So tall among those friends again. Ships! With many coloured smoke stacks, All with music in their names. Disappearing as I looked back, Nevermore will they return. Descending from the ancient steps, I still heard their ghostly sounds Of all so long ago. And wept... The last time that I left the town.
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