The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #139464   Message #3199585
Posted By: Charley Noble
01-Aug-11 - 07:39 AM
Thread Name: Fastnet Sea Music Festival-June 2012
Subject: RE: Fastnet Sea Music Festival
Here's a poem by Cicely Fox Smith in tribute to Fastnet Light. I don't think anyone has set it to music but why not have a go at it; the second verse would work well as a chorus:

Old Fastnet

The ships to the westward, by night and by day,
In storm and in sunshine go forth on their way,
The big ships and little ships, swift ships and slow . . .
And Fastnet – old Fastnet – he watches 'em go.

Hull down to the westward they vanish afar,
Like the waft of a wing or the flash of a star,
A feather of smoke on the rim of the sky . . .
And Fastnet – old Fastnet – he waves 'em good-bye.

Strange stars will behold them, strange harbours will know,
Strange lights for their guiding will beacon and glow,
And they'll maybe remember and maybe forget
That Fastnet – old Fastnet – he's waiting there yet.

A-waiting the day, be it distant or soon,
When the ships from the westward, by night or by noon,
In storm or in sunshine rejoicing will come . . .
And Fastnet – old Fastnet – he'll welcome them home!


From Rovings: Sea Songs and Ballads, edited by Cicely Fox Smith, published by Elkin Mathews, London, UK, ©1921, p. 50.

"Fastnet" here refers to the lighthouse at Fastnet Rock off Southern Ireland, the last land to be sighted by early Irish immigrants and the first to be sighted by returning trans-Atlantic sailors.

Charley Noble