The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #94062   Message #3419275
Posted By: Reinhard
13-Oct-12 - 02:12 PM
Thread Name: Origins: The Clipper (Peter Bellamy)
Subject: RE: Origins: The Clipper (Peter Bellamy)
If you google for the first few words of the poem, "fair she was to look on", you'll find the poem in a scanned copy of Basil Lubbock's same-named book
The China Clippers, Glasgow: James Brown & Son, 1914:

O fair she was to look on, as some spirit of the sea.
When she raced from China, homeward, with her freight of fragrant tea
And the shining swift bonito and the wide-winged albatross
Claimed kinship with the clipper beneath the Southern Cross.

Close-hauled, with shortened canvas, swift and plunging she could sweep
Through the gale that rose to bar her wild pathway across the deep;
And before the gale blew over, half her drenched and driven crew,
To the tune of Reuben Ranzo, hoisted topsail yards anew.

From the haven of the present she has cleared and slipped away,
Loaded deep and running free for the port of yesterday.
And the cargo that she carried, ah! it was not China tea.
She took with her all the glamour and romance of life at sea.