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ADD: Thomas Goodridge Roberts: Poems of the Sea

Q (Frank Staplin) 07 Oct 10 - 03:32 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 07 Oct 10 - 03:48 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 07 Oct 10 - 03:51 PM
Charley Noble 07 Oct 10 - 04:28 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 08 Oct 10 - 04:47 PM
Charley Noble 08 Oct 10 - 05:30 PM
Joe_F 08 Oct 10 - 05:50 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 09 Oct 10 - 08:13 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 11 Oct 10 - 05:12 PM
GUEST,mg 12 Oct 10 - 02:17 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 12 Oct 10 - 02:34 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 12 Oct 10 - 02:59 PM
Charley Noble 12 Oct 10 - 05:49 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 12 Oct 10 - 09:56 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 14 Oct 10 - 09:59 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 14 Oct 10 - 10:15 PM
Charley Noble 15 Oct 10 - 08:23 AM
Charley Noble 15 Oct 10 - 08:28 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Oct 10 - 08:27 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Oct 10 - 08:56 PM
Charley Noble 15 Oct 10 - 11:14 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 16 Oct 10 - 01:50 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 16 Oct 10 - 02:17 PM
Artful Codger 16 Oct 10 - 04:51 PM
Artful Codger 16 Oct 10 - 06:07 PM
Artful Codger 16 Oct 10 - 06:17 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 16 Oct 10 - 08:22 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 16 Oct 10 - 09:06 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 18 Oct 10 - 08:58 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 18 Oct 10 - 09:34 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 18 Oct 10 - 10:09 PM
Charley Noble 18 Oct 10 - 10:24 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 18 Oct 10 - 10:28 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 19 Oct 10 - 04:29 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 19 Oct 10 - 09:01 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 21 Oct 10 - 02:48 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 23 Oct 10 - 07:48 PM
Charley Noble 24 Oct 10 - 12:27 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 24 Oct 10 - 04:52 PM
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Q (Frank Staplin) 25 Oct 10 - 05:27 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: MOTHER CAREY'S CHICKENS (T. G. Roberts)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 07 Oct 10 - 03:32 PM

Lyr. Add: MOTHER CAREY'S CHICKENS
Thomas Goodridge Roberts, 1901

1
When the drift spins white, and the winds are high,
And the black clouds race in the sullen sky,
The Mother Carey, down in the sea,
Startles her chickens up from her knee,
With shout and laughter she bids them fly.
2
"Oh, the white foam gleams, and the wave-heads sing,
So up my pretty ones, strong of wing.
There's many a good ship out tonight,
Sheeted with spray and blind with fright:
So follow them close, till the thing is done,
And bring the dead hearts one by one."
3
For this is her way when the giant sea
Rages, stark mad, and the stunned ships flee;
She sends her chickens, strong of flight,
Out of the sea and into the night,
To guide dead mariners down to her knee.
4
They say that her song has a magic ring
To sailormen, weary of journeying;
That brave eyes close in a lotus sleep-
All's well! and never a watch to keep;
And the Joy of Life seems a little thing
When they follow the flash of the dipping wing.
5
Their brisk voices will lift no more
When the anchor is catted for some strange shore.
Heart-ache is done and tears are past,
And the red weeds cling to the broken mast,
And never a lean back springs to the oar.
6
They say that these swift, brown birds, that flee
And skim in our wake, when the wind is free,
Are the souls of mariners drowned in the sea-
That they guide dead comrades down, far down,
To the swaying streets of a coral town,
Where the mother sits in her tide-spun gown.

That Far River: Selected Poems of Theodore Goodridge Roberts, edited by Martin Ware, III: The Lost Shipmate: Poems of the Sea.

Roberts shortened the poem to four verses for his The Leather Bottle:

They say these slim brown birds that flee
And skim in our wake, when the wind is free,
Are the souls of sailormen lost at sea,
Waiting to pilot their fellows down
To the swaying streets of a coral town
Where the Mother sits in a green gown.

'Tis said her song has a magic ring
To brave lads weary of seafaring;
That bright eyes close in a lotus sleep-
(All's well! and never a watch to keep!);
That the joy of life seems a faded thing
When they follow the flash of the dipping wing.

Their eager voices shall lift no more
When the anchor is catted for some far shore:
Heartache and toil and fear are past,
And red weeds cling to the drifting mast
And yellow shells to the broken oar.

When scud flies white and winds are high
And torn clouds race in a roaring sky
Then Mother Carey, under the sea,
Startles her brown birds up from her knee:
With tears and laughter she bids them fly.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Roberts, T. G., Poems of the Sea
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 07 Oct 10 - 03:48 PM

Fiddler's Green by Roberts was posted by Q, 17 Sept 07, in thread 47889, Lyr. Req'd: Fiddler's Green.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Roberts, T. G., Poems of the Sea
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 07 Oct 10 - 03:51 PM

Above post cut off-
Fiddler's Green


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Roberts, T. G., Poems of the Sea
From: Charley Noble
Date: 07 Oct 10 - 04:28 PM

Q-

We have focused on the same poet. I just posted "The Wrecker's Prayer." Interesting stuff!

Here's a short bio for Roberts from Biblio.com:

Also wrote as G. E. Theodore Roberts, was a Canadian Journalist, author, war correspondent, traveller and poet. During World War I he served in the Canadian army in England and France. He founded his two magazines: The Newfoundland Magazine (1900) and The Kit-Bag (1902). His works include: The House of Isstens (1900), Hemming: The Adventurer (1904), Brothers of Peril: A Story of Old Newfoundland (1905), The Red Feathers (1907), Captain Love (1908), Flying Plover: His Stories, Told Him by Squat-by-the-Fire (1909), A Cavalier of Virginia (1910), A Captain of Raleigh's (1911), The Harbor Master (1911), Rayton: A Backwoods Mystery (1912), Two Shall Be Born (1913), Jess of the River (1914), In the High Woods (1916), Forest Fugitives (1917), The Islands of Adventure (1918), Moonshine (1919), The Lure of Piper's Glen (1921), The Fighting Starkleys; or, The Test of Courage (1922), Musket House (1923), Green Timber Thoroughbreds (1924), Seven Poems (1925), The Lost Shipmate (1926) and The Leather Bottle (1934).

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE MAD SAILOR (T. G. Roberts)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 08 Oct 10 - 04:47 PM

Lyr. Add: THE MAD SAILOR
T. G. Roberts, 1932

Mad, they call me. Mad Dick Chant I be;
Struck so, folk say, by the crashing of reef and sea
That night I was hove ashore in Hermitage Bay
Along wid the timbers an' spars of The Mary J.

Daft, they call me. Daft Dick Chant be I,
Weeping when others be merry, laughing when others cry;
Running the frothy landwash when the night blows wild,
Or smoking a pipe by the red stove, contented and mild.

Strangers are warned I be queer; a touch on the forehead, so,
Some don't look at me eye to eye, for fear I'd guess they know.
They give me tobacco and pity an' leave me go my way-
Sole survivor- Mad Dick Chant- of The Mary J.

They give me bread and meat, a roof to shelter my head;
Tea for my smoky kettle and blankets enough to my bed.
They leave me sit, or step abroad, at my own wild whim.
"But for the Mercy of God," they say, "we'd be like him."

But for the Mercy of God! I have my laugh at that....
When the moon is round and the tide all shiny and flat
I steal away in the shadows of rocks, and wet rocks let me through....
But for the Mercy of God, say I, I'd be the same as you!

Deep in Witchery Cave the tides and moon spin green,
Spinning a gleam the noddies ashore have never guessed nor seen;
And old King Neptune's daughters there are playing on harps of shell;
They sing for me and laugh like bells at the sailor yarns I tell.

Skipper Nolan's got a girl from Bully Bay for his bride.
I know a room by sea-lamps lit, down under the swelling tide-
A secret place; and a king's daughter with breasts agleam like pearl;
And poor Dick Chant is a prince down there in the arms of his deep-sea girl.

When the blind gale blows black and loud I hear her call to me-
The silver voice, through the crashing surf, of my sweetheart under-sea:
And so I run the spouting reef, splashing the wild night through,
Breasting the surf with my strong heart- for my mad dreams are true.

And when the moon is white and round I wade into the tide
To sink among the oaring fish and glide where black eels glide;
And silky curtains of purple weed part and let me down
To where the love of my true heart waits in a tide-spun gown.

Mad, they call me. Mad Dick Chant I be-
A poor, daft seafaring fool ashore but a lover under the sea.
Meat and bread they give me, and leave me go my way
Down to the arms of a king's daughter under the shiny bay.

Mad Dick Chant they call me. Mad as the wind be I,
Running all night along the rocks to hear my dear love's cry.
Pity and blankets they give me and a roof to shelter my head;
And little they guess of the truth of the place where I make my bed!

Down in Witchery Cave the tides and moon spin green:
Green gowns for a sea-king's daughters and for a king and queen,
And a princely robe for a laughing sailor, courting his gentle bride.
Poor Dick Chant I be ashore- but a lover under the tide!
1931.

From source cited in 1st poem posted.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Roberts, T. G., Poems of the Sea
From: Charley Noble
Date: 08 Oct 10 - 05:30 PM

Interesting poems!

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Roberts, T. G., Poems of the Sea
From: Joe_F
Date: 08 Oct 10 - 05:50 PM

Kipling knew about her too.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE CITY OF WINDS (T. G. Roberts)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 09 Oct 10 - 08:13 PM

Lyr. Add: THE CITY OF WINDS
T. G. Roberts, 1899

Fifty sail in the harbor,
When the white-caps swagger free-
A fishing-smack in the "Narrows,"
And a hundred more at sea.
2
And the spoil of the East and the South
Where scented blossoms spill,
Passing the grinding icebergs
To our town on the windy hill.
3
Wealth of our northern waters,
From Torbay 'round to White,
Racing in with the fog-rack
Between the hills and the "Light."
4
The walls of the City of Winds
Are battened amd grim and rent;
Worried by winds and fires
And fogs that are never spent.
5
The heart of our City of Winds
Is light 'neath the scars and grime-
Unhurt by the hurrying flame,
Or the leisurely hands of time.
6
Strange men go by in the streets
Bearded from chin to eyes,
And their ships, asleep in the dock
Are dreaming of other skies.
7
Dreaming of palm-fringed krys
And the smell of the lands they know
And the bluster of winter winds
In the Gulf of Mexico.
8
Here is a fishing schooner
Of Fundy and Bank renown,
With a crew from the tide-torn Avon
And a skipper from Yarmouth town.
9
The brown hills lean and ponder
O'er harbor and street and square
With never a question or answer
For the trafficking people there.
10
Fifty sail in the harbor;
Straining to stagger free-
A mail-boat in the "Narrows,"
And a blowing of horns at sea.
11
A chiming of bells in the towers-
The boom of the midday gun,
And the fog-bank thins and rises
Beneath the joy of the sun.


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Subject: Lyr Add: A BALLAD OF THE FLOE (T. G. Roberts)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 05:12 PM

Lyr. Add: A Ballad of the Floe
T. G. Roberts

1
The noddy lay sick-a-bed;
The bread was low in the bin;
The dogs howled all night long
And the ice-pans drifted in.
2
The white fog heaved with the sound-
The crash and thunder and grind;
The landwash flinched at the shock,
And the mad seas roared behind.
3
The noddy turned in his pain,
And tumbled his narrow bed.
"The b'ys be away tomorry
For bert's at the swilin," he said.
4
He saw the wife at his side,
And the fear by the wan smile hid.
"The swilers will sail without me.
I grieves for yerself and the kid.'
5
"The swilers bes off to-morry,
To steam and drift and kill:
They'll catch the whitecoats nappin'-
But I'll make nary a bill."
6
"Hush," said the woman, "hush.
There bes bread an' fixins to spare."
She straightened his shabby blanket
And smoothed his bedraggled hair.
7
"They'll find the swile i' the Straits...
Log-loaded off Signal Hill...
The b'ys will be drinkin' at Tobin's...
And I'll have nary a bill."
8
"Hush," said the woman, "hush."
She stroked the hand on the sheet.
Her heart was here in the room,
But his was out with the fleet.
9
The woman came from the storm,
Her blown shawl over her head.
"The mail bes come to the harbor
Wid news from the swilin'," she said.
10
"The WALRUS made S'int John's
On Sunday mornin' at ten-
Log-loaded"- she stooped above him-
"Log loaded wid frozen men."
11
The noddy turned in his pain,
Rocking the narrow bed.
"An' meself was for sailin' wid Bartlett
To make ye a bill," he said.

swile = seal.
Literary Digest, 1930.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Roberts, T. G., Poems of the Sea
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 02:17 PM

So it says he was Canadian..do we know where from? He certainly writes of Newfoundland but they weren't in Canada until 1948..mg


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Roberts, T. G., Poems of the Sea
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 02:34 PM

Born in New Brunswick.
Although not in Canada until 1948 when premier Smallwood convinced them to join Confederation, independent Newfoundland was always closely allied with Canada.
Roberts spent much time in Newfoundland.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE LOST SHIPMATE (T. G. Roberts)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 02:59 PM

The Lost Shipmate
T. G. Roberts

1
Somewhere he failed me, somewhere he slipped away-
Youth, in his ignorant faith and his bright array.
The tides go out; the tides come flooding in;
Still the old years die and the new begin;
But Youth?
Somewhere we lost each other, last year or yesterday.
2
Somewhere he failed me. Down at the harbour-side
I waited for him a little, where the anchored argosies ride.
I thought he came- the steady 'trade' blew free-
I thought he came- 'twas but the shadow of me!
And Youth?
Somewhere he turned and left me, about the turn of the tide.
3
Perhaps I shall find him. It may be he waits for me,
Sipping those wines we knew, beside some tropic sea;
The tides still serve, and I am out and away
To search the spicy harbours of yesterday
For Youth,
Where the lamps of the town are yellow beyond the lamps on the quay.
4
Somewhere he failed me, somewhere he slipped away-
Youth, in his ignorant heart and his bright array.
Was it in Bados? God, I would pay to know!
Was it on Spanish Hill, where the roses blow?
Ah, Youth!
Shall I hear your laughter to-morrow, in painted Olivio?
5
Somewhere I failed him. Somewhere I let him depart-
Youth, who would only sleep for the morn's fresh start.
The tides slipped out, the tides washed out and in,
And Youth and I rejoiced in their wastrel din.
Ah, Youth!
Shall I find you south of the Gulf? -or are you dead in my heart?

Especially evocative to old geezers like me. Roberts spent much time in the Caribbean, especially Barbados, and in England. His maritime otigin always remained a strong influence.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Roberts, T. G., Poems of the Sea
From: Charley Noble
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 05:49 PM

Poor old "youth!" And to think we all thought we were immortal!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE BLIND SAILOR (T. G. Roberts)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 09:56 PM

Lyr. Add: The Blind Sailor
T. G. Roberts, 1877-1953

'Strike me blind!' I swore.
God, and I was stricken!
I have seen the morning fade
And noonday thicken.

1
Be merciful, O God, that I have named in vain!
I am blind of the eyes; but spare the gleam in my brain.
Though my footsteps falter, let my soul still sight
The things that were my life before You hid the light.
2
Little things they were, Lord, too small to be denied;
Green of roadstead waters, where the tired ships ride-
Bark and brig and barkentine, blown from near and far,
Safe inside the spouting reef and the sobbing bar.
3
Leave to me my pictures, Lord, leave my mem'ries bright!
The twisted palms are clashing, and the sands are white;
Shore-boats crowd around us, the skipper's gig is manned,
And nutmegs spice the little breeze that baffles off the land.
4
Negro girls are singing in the fields of cane;
Lizards dart on those white paths I'll not walk again;
Opal blinds melt up at dawn, crimson blinds flare down,
And white against the mountains gleam the street-lamps of the town.
5
Leave to me my pictures, Lord, spare my mind to see
Shimmer of still water and the shadow ofstill tree,
Cables roaring down and gray sails swiftly furled;
A riding-light ablink in some far corner of the world.
6
Leave to me my treasures, Lord; the islands and the main;
The little things a sailorman must out to see again;
Fountains in the gardens and oxen in the streets;,
Black men selling parrots and brown girls selling sweets.
7
I have fed my vision, Lord; now I pray to hold
The blue and gray and silver, the pink and green and gold.
I have filled my heart, Lord. Now I pray to keep
The flashing and the laughter through this unlifting sleep.

'Strike me blind!' we swore.
God, and I am blind!
But leave me still, O Lord,
The pictures in the mind!

Theodore Goodridge Roberts, 1916, John W. Garvin, ed. Canadian Poets. Toronto, McClelland, Goodchild and Stewart, pp. 377-382.
1934, The Leather Bottle, The Ryerson Press, Toronto.
Poem slightly revised.

Roberts revised some poems for later printings. Most are word replacements, which I have made; sometimes the image was changed.

Verse 6, 1916 version:
Leave to me my pictures, Lord! The islands and the main;
The little things a sailorman must out to see again.
The beggars in the market place, the oxen in the streets,
The bitter black tobacco and the women selling sweets.

Reprise of introductory verse at the end removed in 1934, but I have left it in.


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Subject: Lyr Add: PERNAMBUCO IN MAY (T. G. Roberts)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 09:59 PM

Lyr. Add: Pernambuco in May
T. G. Roberts

Not a leaf stirs in the rubbery looking trees.
The Skipper's shirt is wilted and he's dripping at the knees.
Whistle a breeze!

Brown girls move along on slithery dry feet,
Selling sticky sweets;
And brown men squat asleep in the hot street-
In all the hot streets-
With their shins in their hands and chins on their knees.
Whistle a breeze!

Narrow dark doors stand open here and there,
Inviting mates and masters in from the glare,
Through high dark stores to dusky cool bars,
Smelling of green limes and oily cigars,
Of bitters and pale rum and white anisette
And the slow blue smoke of a brown cigarette.
Whistle a drink!
"What will you have, Sir? -Just name your fancy!
"Gin and green cocoanut? -called a 'Miss Nancy.'
"A long lime-squash, Sir, laced with white rum?-
"Known in these parts as a 'Skipper's Kingdom Come."

In Tucker's dusky bar we give noon the slip:
But the more we cool our necks the more we drip-drip,
Dripping at the shoulders and wilting at the knees.
Whistle a breeze!
While I blow smoke of a fat green cigar,
The Skipper sings a ditty of a sailor and a star-
Of how a sailor's sweetie a sailor's star should be....
One more "Miss Nancy" will be enough for me!

Written 1901. Pernambuco was a Dutch trading town. Roberts says May is not the best time to visit Pernambuco.
That Far River, ed. Martin Ware, 1934.

Thomas Goodridge Roberts, 1934, The Leather Bottle, The Ryerson Press, Toronto.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE SHARK (T. G. Roberts)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 10:15 PM

Lyr. Add: The Shark
T. G. Roberts.

A shadow deep in the wave astern,
A quiver of gree, a sliding fin
Shifting, but ever keeping the course-
Silent and keen as sin.

Sometimes close in our wake he swam,
And sometimes far, with a careless air-
But we knew that ever those evil eyes
Were wide awake and aware.

Through the doldrums, across the Line
We crawled; and on deck, at every turn,
The Skipper marked, with uneasy gaze,
That voyaging fin astern.

All day, all night, day in, day out,
It held to our course on that lazy sea.
"He be waitin' for more nor the galley slops,"
Said Boatswain Pat McGee.

The men aloft looked aft and saw,
(Where the sinister dorsal tacked and slid),
An eye that stared at our rolling hull
With never the blink of a lid.

At last we won the brisker seas,
With spray abeam and porpoise ahead:
And the black fin sank in our bubbling wake....
"Thank God!" the Skipper said.

1911. First printed in Halifax Herald, 1932. That Far River 1934.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Roberts, T. G., Poems of the Sea
From: Charley Noble
Date: 15 Oct 10 - 08:23 AM

Q-

"Pernambuco was a Dutch trading town"? If so, it's not the one that Roberts is likely to have been referring to.

Pernambuco is a state of Brazil and also a major seaport, located in the Northeast region of the country. It's generally mentioned as a major landfall for sailing ships in the 18th and 19th century sailing southwest from England.

I always loved the sound of that name but never could find a good multi-syllable rhyme for it.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Roberts, T. G., Poems of the Sea
From: Charley Noble
Date: 15 Oct 10 - 08:28 AM

Whoops! I just checked the poet's notes to "Pernambuco in May" and clearly I did not know the history of this old Brazilian seaport:

Author's Note:

"The harbour and city of Pernambuco are behind a reef. The reef is topped by a brick wall built long ago, when the port was a possession of Holland, by workmen who knew their trade of raising barriers against the sea. But the rollers of three hundred years have knocked a few holes in the good Dutch brickwork through which spray bursts upon the opaque green (and shark infested) waters of the harbour like the smoke of great guns and with a booming as of guns. I was there in May, which is not the best time to visit Pernambuco."

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Roberts, T. G., Poems of the Sea
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Oct 10 - 08:27 PM

Not a historian, but there seems to have been a tendency for visitors to call the port by the name of the province, Pernambuco. I have to look that up.
Roberts seems to have done that.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE DYING PIRATE'S PRAYER (T. G. Roberts)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Oct 10 - 08:56 PM

Lyr. Add: The Dying Pirate's Prayer
T. G. Roberts
"Fetch aft the rum, Darby!" Captain Flint (R. L. S.)

Out from the rottin' barnacles and the harbour stench;
Out from the rusty ringbolts adown the weedy stairs;
Out from the roadstead green and the milky inshore blue,
Let me go! - it's all I ask of You!-
Out and away, out and through
To the whisper of bursting bubbles across the deepsea blue.

Let me clear for sea. Let me go aboard
Any old craft that pumps will float clear of soundin's, Lord-
Clear of the festered harbour and through the hole in the reef-
Out on an offshore breeze, clear o' the milky blue.
To the slosh of cloven waters and the lift of the outer blue.
Hear this sinner's prayer, Lord! He'd do the same for you!

I'll take all that's due me in the way of Hell-
But, Lord, to leave me strangle of this here inshore smell!
Me that was bred a seaman, through and down and through
Fathoms o' blue water, down in the deepsea blue,
Out of sight and sound and scent of inshore gear and crew-
Out of sight of every port a seaman ever knew.
There lays the careenage, white as curds in the sun;
White as Devon curds... God, the deeds I've done
Since the day I went a-fishin' and boarded the Sea Rover!

Fetch aft the rum, Darby! Lay aft an' ease me over!

Aye, the damn careenage! Sink it, God of wrath!
Hark'ee, God of mercy, to a sick man's prayer!
Let me clear for sea. Any old craft will do.
Drive me out on an offshore breeze to the jumpin' deep blue;
Then sink me clear o' soundin's, Lord! I'd do the same for You.
Fetch aft the rum, Darby! ... Lay aft and raise my head-
And pity a poor seaman bilged ashore in bed
With faces crowdin' 'round- mostly a long time dead.

Leather Bottle.


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Subject: RE: ADD: Thomas Goodridge Roberts: Poems of the Se
From: Charley Noble
Date: 15 Oct 10 - 11:14 PM

Q-

"The Dying Pirate's Prayer" is definitely a keeper. What fun we'll have with that one!

"Fetch aft the rum, Darby! Lay aft an' ease me over!"

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE FIDDLER (T. G. Roberts)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Oct 10 - 01:50 PM

Lyr. Add: The Fiddler
T. G. Roberts

Black as iron is the landwash
Under the wet fog;
And green sucks the tide.
Back of all lie barren and bog.

Up here, amid granite and spruce-tuck,
Drift sounds of fairies singing,
And lost souls sighing,
And far bells ringing,
And lovers laughing and crying;
And out of the fog, like a ghost,
Steps simple Black Jarge Crew,
Playing his fiddle, poor fellow-
Knowing nought else to do.

He sees granite and spruce-tuck,
Juniper, pond and bog,
And down past the broken cliff
The green tide under the fog:
But he sees more beside,
Does simple Black Jarge Crew
Stepping above the tide
And abroad in the barren places:
He sees flickery faces
Peeping out from the fern:
He knows where the Good People hide-
The little, gay, soulless fairies-
And the Lost Gunner walks by his side.

He hears a whisper of singing
From deep and deep underground
Of gnomes a-sweat at their anvils;
And his fiddle mimics the sound.

He has no luck at the fishing:
He's good for nothing:
but when
These skiffs and stages are rotted
And dead are these fishermen
And skipper Flynn is forgotten
And nought of his store's to be found,
This barren above the tides
Will still be "Fiddler's Ground."

1926, Canadian Magazine (As "Old Fiddler's Ground")

Reprinted in That Far River.

Spruce-tuck- "In the low spots the spruce-tuck grows up to streamline the landscape..." The Canadian Field Naturalist. A thicket of young spruce.

"Lay down i' the spruce-tuck alongside the path, about t'ree miles along, an' wait till these folks from the ship comes up to ye, wi' four or five o' our own...." The Harbour Master, T. G. Roberts.

Lost Gunner- Journal of Captain Pausch (Burgoyne Campaign against the Americans), "Bombadier Woehler had drifted about on the Lake- the waves casting him first on one island and then on another...."
Not pertinent, but in the same campaign, Deputy Quartermaster Gen. Money was "precipitated from a balloon into the sea, and being nearly drowned....." (Saved, and in later years became a full general).

Fiddler's Ground- "....That fool will go runnin' the Fiddler's ground, Haulin' his gear in the trough o' the sea...." (Mrs. MacDonald's Lament). See Mudcat songid=4066.


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Subject: Lyr Add: SAILING NORTH (T. G. Roberts)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Oct 10 - 02:17 PM

Lyr. Add: Sailing North (off Pernambuco)
T. G. Roberts

North! We are sailing North,
The song at the windlass is done.
The slim still palms, astern,
Are black 'gainst the orange sun.

North! She is headed North,
And the shouldering trade is free,
And rail, and deck, and spar,
Are sick of the purple sea!

Weary of calm and squall;
Weary of billow and spray;
Weary of blue and gold,
And sick for the seas of gray.

North! We are sailing North,
And the sudden darkness is white
With the foam of the herding seas
And the long wake's silver light.

The light of the galley door
Gleams red on the slanting deck.
Windward the long seas leap
Racing us neck and neck.

North! We are sailing North,
Lifting, and leaning over.
We are dreaming of inland fields
And the little winds in the clover.

Here is the tenth of May
And the breeze at a nine-knot tune!
We're reeling, a-sea, to-night-
We'll be laughing, ashore, in June.

North! We are heading North,
And far in the dusk I see
A warm light, low on the Coast of Dream,
Marking the course for me.

Written 1901. Printed in That Far River


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Subject: RE: ADD: Thomas Goodridge Roberts: Poems of the Sea
From: Artful Codger
Date: 16 Oct 10 - 04:51 PM

"The Dying Pirate's Prayer" seems to have been printed earlier in Roberts' The Lost Shipmate (1926), as well as in The Citizen (no year cited). (The Leather Bottle was published in 1934.) So it's remotely possible this poem could be in the public domain, if the Citizen publication was a few years prior to Shipmate.


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Subject: RE: ADD: Thomas Goodridge Roberts: Poems of the Sea
From: Artful Codger
Date: 16 Oct 10 - 06:07 PM

"The Lost Shipmate" appeared in the book Canadian Poets, 1916, ten years before Roberts' collection The Lost Shipmate (1926). I don't know when the poem was first published.

Somewhere above, the publication date of 1934 was given for The Lost Shipmate (the collection), but if correct, it must have been a reprinted or revised edition. The Leather Bottle also appeared in that year, so it's also possible the two books were confused in the citation.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE FIFES (Theodore Goodridge Roberts)
From: Artful Codger
Date: 16 Oct 10 - 06:17 PM

Here's an interesting poem by Roberts, though not dealing with sailing life.


THE FIFES: by Capt. Theodore Goodridge Roberts

THUMPS the big drum,
"Come!"
And thin and bitter-sweet the fifes are calling me—
"Come up and serve your country in the red fields over-sea.
"Come up and serve your King, in this his needful day,
"On the torn fields of the old world, four thousand miles away."

Rap the little drums,
"Come!"
And shrill and thin as a child's cry the black fifes call to me,
And wring my heart, and turn my face to the red fields over-sea—
"Come up and serve your country, in this her needful day,
"Where tyrants strike at her great heart, four thousand miles away."

But soon the drums are silent. The thin fifes cease their cry,
The only sound is the thud of feet as the regiments go by;
And soft and clear and bitter-sweet a dear voice cries to me
Of the days of peace and love and ease that are not over-sea.
Oh, slow our feet are tramping, and the bitter dust drifts up.
Oh, slow our hearts are beating, and bitter is the cup.

Then—
Thuds the big drum,
"Come!"
And quick and high and sharp and thin the fifes cry out to me,
"Come out, come up and serve your King on the red fields over-sea.
"Stand up. Stand out for Freedom, in this distressful day,
"For they strike at all you have and love, four thousand miles away."

Valcartier Camp, Canada:
September 9th, 1914


Source: The Touchstone, Volume 1 (1917), p. 284. Mary Fanton Roberts, Editor.

Added by Q
Roberts wrote several poems about WW1, not all collected in one volume. The Fifes is one that did not appear in one of Robert's volumes.
A few of his WW1 poems appeared in The Leather Bottle, under the heading "Of His Majesty's Rum Jar."
These are:
A Billet in Flanders (1915)
Salisbury Plain (1914)
Private North
To a Known Soldier
To the Unknown Soldier in Westminster Abbey
A Cook-house at Reveille (1914)
*The Last Billet
*Posted in this thread.


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Subject: RE: ADD: Thomas Goodridge Roberts: Poems of the Sea
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Oct 10 - 08:22 PM

The Lost Shipmate was the title of a 14-page stapled volume printed by Ryerson in 1926, Ryerson Poetry Chapbook No. 7, 250 copies only. I now have a copy. Some of the poems were re-printed in The Far River, cited above.
I haven't found when The Dying Pirate's Prayer was printed in The Citizen; the copy in the New Brunswick Archives lacks the date.
The anthology, Canadian Poets, Garvin, 1916, contains The Lost Shipmate as noted by Artful Codger.

I have cited my sources for the texts I have posted; I have not looked for first publication.


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Subject: Lyr Add: NIGHT WIND OF BARBADOS (T. G. Roberts)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Oct 10 - 09:06 PM

Lyr. Add: Night Wind of Barbados
T. G. Roberts. orig. title "The Mad Rider."

Beyond the surf and the reef,
Beyond the gloom and the gleam,
Beyond the purple veils
Where lost sailors dream,
The Wind of the Night awakes
In fenceless pastures of din;
Seizing their manes of foam,
She gallops her horses in.

White is her face and fair;
Her hands are like palest shells;
She sleeps where sea-fire burns
And mermaids weave their spells.
All day she drifts and dreams,
With a cheek in an idle hand,-
But as soon as the stars flame out,
She gallops the waves to land.

Mad, at the urge of her hand
They plunge and rear at the bit:
Arching their foaming necks
And tossing their manes a-lit
They hurdle the frothy reef;
To the cruel lash of her hand,
They stagger the marshalled rocks
And trample the flinching sand.

All night long, till dawn,
The furious herds race in.
Back in the fields of cane
The salty spray drifts thin.
She charges the sloshing reef,
And black rocks heave and dip.
Under the eaves of our house
Resounds the lash of her whip.

Along the hills in the east
A yellow flame upweaves;
Behind the crested palms
A tide of saffron laves;
Then, in rose and gold,
The glad lights flare and flee,
And the Night Wind herds her horses
To the pastures of the sea.

1904. From That Far River

Barbados is one of the best wave windsurfing spots in the world. From mid-November to the end of June, trade winds blow with high consistency over the shores. In the hurricane season, June to November, all sorts of conditions are possible but the trade winds are usually moderate. (www.barbados.org)


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE LAST BILLET (T. G. Roberts)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Oct 10 - 08:58 PM

Lyr. Add: The Last Billet
T. G. Roberts

Some day I'll come to that still place
And bid the old man smooth my bed.
No hurry of departure then,
No waking when the dawn is red.

The same kind trees will sing to me
Day after day, night after night.
The wind that wanders in the grass
Will bring no tidings of the fight.

In that still hostelry of rest,
Where time is not and sleep is long,
I'll clean forget the thing unwon
And pain of the unfinished song.

Night will not find me journeying
Where endless roads in dusk are set
On some fool's errand down the world,
Hag-ridden by an old regret.

Some evening I shall turn aside
To that dark hostelry of rest
And at the threshold loose my spurs
And to the wind bequeath my quest.

The Lost Shipmate, 1926, Theodore Goodridge Roberts, The Ryerson Poetry Chap-books, Canada.


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Subject: Lyr Add: IN WITLESS COVE (T. G. Roberts)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Oct 10 - 09:34 PM

Witless Bay, first named Whittleless Bay after a Captain Whittle who settled there.
The firsh settlers were English fishermen, soon superceded by Irish in the 1700s. Roman Catholicism was outlawed in Newfoundland in the 18th C., priests disguised as fishermen ministered to the spiritual needs. In 1836, the first official census was 542, of whom 540 were Irish. In 1845 the first Catholic church opened.
The name changes to Whittle less and finally to Witless. People settled from Gallows Cove increased the population and Witless Bay was incorporated in 1986.

Lyr. Add: In Witless Cove
T. G. Roberts

In Witless Bay the little fields
Are dark above the sea-
The little sheep-cropt pastures
Where bridget walked with me.

The evening glow is fading
Where the west is clear and wide,
And the boys are climbing homeward
From the *flakes along the tide.

The geese are herded in the pen-'Twas Bridget called them in.
The red cow's lowing at the door
For milking to begin.

The darling lights are gleaming
In windows high and low:
In Father Keegan's study
You can mark a saintly glow.

In Witless Bay the little fields
Are dark above the sea;
And Bridget's calling, in her prayers,
To tear the heart of me:

And still the wind holds steady
Across the darkling blue.....
Then may the dear Christ shield us safe
And guide me home to you!

For oh! my heart is longing,
From half the world away,
To foot again the climbing path
Above the little bay!

".....the strongest of leather bottles springs a leak before the high quest is ended."

Theodore Goodridge Roberts, 1934, The Leather Bottle, The Ryerson Press, Toronto.

Newfoundlanders would be small farmers, fishermen, and sailors, all in the same generation, and often in the same person.
Sometimes it is difficult to separate Robert's poems into categories.
One about the farm may still have the smell of the strand and the sea.
*Flake- a platform on poles for bleaching and drying cod, after curing under salt.


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Subject: Lyr Add: CAP'N ENGLISH'S GHOST (T. G. Roberts)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Oct 10 - 10:09 PM

Lyr. Add: Cap'n English's Ghost
T. G. Roberts

"Soon after the death of the notorious Richard English at the yard-arm of a frigate, a lubberly fellow with a fast schooner and plenty of luck reaped a rich harvest in the same seas which the late Richard had stained with blood, and so began to fancy himself as a pirate of the first class."

A schooner up from Santa Cruz
With treasure in her hold
Of candle-sticks and chalices
And pearls and minted gold!
A schooner up from Santa Cruz
With jibs and topsails set,
And rubies on the captain's hands
And in the lazarette.

"A stranger came aboard soon after sunset, in a mysterious manner, joined tipsy Captain Duffer in the cabin and there rattled and rolled the bones for extraordinary stakes. The stranger had all the luck, to the disgust and displeasure of Duffer."

The captain slopped his liquor;
He cursed and banged the board.
The stranger's smile was pale and thin;
His glance was like a sword,
Sudden and cold. The lantern swung
And tossed the shadows wide.
"I win again, you fool!" he said.
"Ye're mine now, hair an' hide!

"Ye played like a fool and lost like a fool;
And a scurvy fool you be,
Fatted on knavish tricks ashore
And now a drunkard's luck at sea:
But now ye've fumbled yer last throw
And lost the utmost stake.
As my name be Richard English,
What I win, I take!"


The captain spilled his liquor.
His red nose greyed to ash.
With furtive, rummy fingers
He fumbled at his sash.
The lantern tost its murky gleam
From the ringbolt overhead.
"To Hell wid old Dick English!
For he bes hanged and dead!"

"Not so!" the stranger whispered.
"There's some as never die!"
The captain's face went white as milk,
And grievous was his cry.
"But ye'll cheat the law," the stranger said,-
"Yard-arm an' gallows-tree.
So down yer last wet drink, poor fool,
And come along with me."

The lantern swung and shattered
On the deckbeam overhead;
The bulkheads buckled and split;
The spars came down like lead;
And loud the mysterious stranger laughed
As the schooner heaved and broke
And foundered in a cloud of foam
All white and hot like smoke.

Theodore Goodridge Roberts, 1934, The Leather Bottle, The Ryerson Press, Toronto.


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Subject: RE: ADD: Thomas Goodridge Roberts: Poems of the Se
From: Charley Noble
Date: 18 Oct 10 - 10:24 PM

"Cap'n English's Ghost"

That's a nice one for reciting some dark and gloomy evening.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: ADD: Thomas Goodridge Roberts: Poems of the Sea
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Oct 10 - 10:28 PM

Poems in The Lost Shipmate, Theodore Goodridge Roberts, 1926, The Ryerson Poetry Chap-books, Toronto.

The Lost Shipmate
Fiddler's Green
The Dying Pirate's Prayer
In Neptune's City
With Life
The Lover
Queen of My Youth
The Maid
Love and the Young Knight
Song of a Lost Heart
The Hamadryad
Spring Flight
The Desolate Cabin
The Blue Heron
The Last Billet


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Subject: Lyr Add: IN NEPTUNE'S CITY (T. G. Roberts)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 04:29 PM

Lyr. Add: In Neptune's City
T. G. Roberts

Off Vincent, eighty fathoms deep,
With roofs of coral and pale shell lies Neptune's city,
Wherein sleep the weary sailors, wherein dwell
The Weavers of the deepest spell.

Fair sisters, you have lured him far-
But at the last, Death shared the prize!
From guiding light and steadfast star your singing
    turned his eager eyes.
Now wake him with your witcheries!

Cradle his head upon that breast, foam tender
    and like pearls agleam,
Perchance he follows some old quest along the windings
    of his dream
By ferny track and inland stream?

Perchance this mortal is not made as you are?
Take your harp of shell, all gold-embossed and gem inlaid,
And strike the strings, and break the spell.
Strike the sweet strings. Sing him awake.....
Strike the loud strings until they break!

Theodore Goodridge Roberts, 1926, The Lost Shipmate, The Ryerson Poetry Chap-books, Toronto.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE LOVER (T. G. Roberts)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 09:01 PM

Lyr. Add: The Lover
T. G. Roberts

Never had inland garden seemed
So still, so drugged with dew;
Never had green trees sung so sweet
Beneath the empty blue.

"As when he came, so gay, so sad,
And won the heart of me
With those quick moods of his, like shades
Cloud-blown upon the sea.

"Such fairy islands he had seen
Between the blue and grey!
His low-voiced ballads dimmed my eyes,
And lured my heart away.

"He spoke of gale and anchorage;
Of cities far and fair;
Of roses over crumbling walls
Beyond the clanging square.

"He spoke of comradeship; of men
Red-blooded and clear-eyed,
Who feared no risk of war, or chance,
Or continent, or tide.

"He spoke of brave adventurings,
And of those nameless quests
Which lead men down to death, or home
With stars upon their breasts.

"He spoke of love. Ah, tenderly
He told his dreams of love-
Dreams the sea-winds had brought to him
When stars were white above.

*************************

"Never has inland garden seemed
So still, so warm, so sweet,
Since he went through the little gate
And down the glaring street.

"What counted all his ringing vows-
So false, so fine, so brave?
I gave him all my heart. Dear God,
What bitterness he gave!"

-------------------

Below the blue, beneath the weed,
In those strange ways and dim,
Death holds him with a dream of Her-
Doubt brings no pang to him.

Theodore Goodridge Roberts, 1926, The Lost Shipmate, The Ryerson Poetry Chap-books, Toronto.


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Subject: Lyr Add: MERMAIDS (T. G. Roberts)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 21 Oct 10 - 02:48 PM

Lyr. Add: Mermaids
T. G. Roberts

The bell is gone from the pitching buoy;
The warning voice is gone from the reef,
With its sudden clangour and shaking grief.
Stand wide! Stand clear!
'Ware rocks, Mariner.
Death lurks here!

Wakeful, it hung in its iron cage-
Clatter and clang when seas smashed wild,
Boom and bang when tides span mild.
Stand wide! Run clear!
'Ware reefs, Mariner.
Death lurks near.

Night and noon and dawn and eve,
It shook, from the tumult of green and white,
Its boom of warning and clatter of fright-
'Ware rocks! Stand clear!
Peril is near.

Silver mermaids found the bell.
Laughing sea-maids took it down
From the pitching buoy to their coral town,
And stilled its changy voice to sleep,
Restful and deep.

The ship stands in; there is naught to hear-
No clang of bell, so nothing to fear.
All's well. All's clear.
But death is here!

Roberts: "I am strong for mermaids, though I must admit that some of them are mischievously inclined. I believe in them: but there are dusty professors, with long noses stuck into books,
who argue that the whole mermaid tradition is founded on nothing more or other than seals glimpsed suddenly and unexpectedly by drunken sailors and fishermen. Seals! I have seen seals- and maybe I've seen mermaids. Nobody but a fool, and certainly not a sailor with three sheets in the wind, would mistake a seal for a mermaid. Some people are always trying to take such joys as mermaids and fairies out of our difficult lives. But here are some verses which prove that mermaids are not seals."

Theodore Goodridge Roberts, 1934, The Leather Bottle, The Ryerson Press, Toronto.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE DEAD FISHERMAN (T. G. Roberts)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 23 Oct 10 - 07:48 PM

Lyr. Add: The Dead Fisherman
T. G. Roberts

Now let him rest,
Toil-worn hands on nervous breast,
Fish come into the silver bays,
And red suns go to the west.

But never again with wind and tide,
Will he pull out from the harbour-side:
Never again will he stoop and toil
On the flakes where the fish are dried.

He knew these wonders- fog and wind;
The lifting dark with fire behind;
The slosh of surf in weedy rocks;
The flurries white and blind.

In dread and hunger he sailed and steered,
Famine and cold were the things he feared:
But now he feels no want nor doubt
Since the farthest cape was cleared.

Gulls wing over the laughing bay
Where he and his cares toiled yesterday;
And down where his lobster traps are piled
The green tide has its way.

When winds drive south, and ice drives in,
And the landwash shakes with crashing din,
Right well he'll know, though his eyes be shut,
How the white spume hisses thin.

When sea smoke hides the crawling sea,
And black reefs crouch expectantly,
He'll know the drag of the twisting tide
And the doomed brig's agony.

Now let him sleep.
Nothing to win; nothing to keep;
Nothing to want; nothing to fear-
Buried so soft and deep!

Theodore Goodridge Roberts, 1934, The Leather Bottle, The Ryerson Press, Toronto.


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Subject: RE: ADD: Thomas Goodridge Roberts: Poems of the Se
From: Charley Noble
Date: 24 Oct 10 - 12:27 PM

Not many cheery songs in this batch!

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: ADD: Thomas Goodridge Roberts: Poems of the Sea
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 24 Oct 10 - 04:52 PM

The Wrecker's Prayer posted in thread 132623 by Charley Noble.
Wrecker's Prayer

Theodore Goodridge Roberts, 1934, The Leather Bottle, The Ryerson Press, Toronto.
Earlier printing in newspaper or magazine?

Not in The Lost Shipmate, 1926, Ryerson Poetry Chap-Books.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE FORSAKEN MISTRESS (T. G. Roberts)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 24 Oct 10 - 05:26 PM

Lyr. Add: The Forsaken Mistress
T. G. Roberts

The Sea, my mistress, called to me out of the night,
When the streets of the town were hard and the lips of the tide were white,
And life was weary of waiting and dreams were as driven spray:
I rose and went to her arms before the lift of day.

Queen Sea, how fare your lovers?- Hood and Nelson and Drake;
Olaf and Cook and Hudson; Colombo, Rodney and Blake;
And Conrad who knew you fair and false? What is one lover more
To the love that counts its cheated dead ten thousand score!

The Sea, my mistress, called to me out of the night,
When the streets of the town were friendly and the windows all alight,
And life was glad of waiting, and fear and doubt were gone:
But I went to the arms of a kinder love before the lift of dawn!

Theodore Goodridge Roberts, 1934, The Leather Bottle, The Ryerson Press, Toronto.


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Subject: Lyr Add: FROM CARLISLE BAY (T. G. Roberts)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 24 Oct 10 - 05:51 PM

Lyr. Add: From Carlisle Bay
T. G. Roberts

Skipper's watch and mate's watch:
Day and night and day
We've reefed and squared and steered her
All up from Carlisle Bay,
With humming trades above us
And rolling seas below,
Hemmed in by hazed horizons
Where tall cloud squadrons go.

Skipper's watch and mate's watch:
Through nights and days and nights
We've done our sailor duty
According to our lights.
We've squared and reefed and steered her
By sun and moon and stars,
And seen the ghostly corpus lights
Slide out the heaving spars.

We know the vasty ocean
In calm and breeze and gale,
And a thousand gleaming wonders
All round the heaving rail.
We know the spicy islands-
Roadstead, wharf and street;
And our hands are hard with manning
Downhaul, brace and sheet.

To-morrow, lads, we'll raise it!-
A landfall we all know
Of straight cliffs, brown and purple,
With smoking surf below.
To-morrow, lads, we'll make it!-
And to-morrow night we'll be
In the old house in the old street
In the town above the sea.

Theodore Goodridge Roberts, 1934, The Leather Bottle, The Ryerson Press, Toronto.


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Subject: Lyr Add: CHRISTMAS IN ALURIO (T. G. Roberts)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 05:27 PM

Lyr. Add: Christmas in Alurio
T. G. Roberts

Pipe, bird, in the tamarind tree.
Pipe, wind, on the azure sea.
Here is the season of Peace on Earth.
Pipe merrily.

Roar, surf, on the outer reef.
Sing, bird, on the plantain leaf.
Here is the Season of Joyous Living!
Have done with grief.

Whiter than snow, the surf rides in.
In the tamarind trees the songs begin.
Out in the tumble of blue upstarts
A flashing fin.

Shout, surf; and pipe, wind;
Though seas are wide, the world is kind.
Joy has a nest in the tamarind tree
For Love to find.

Over the cane-fields breaks the day.
The boats are out in *Martin's Bay;
Sliding and plunging into the surf,
Seaward to safety they bear away.

The salty sails flap up and fill;
The men at the wet sheets whistle shrill;
The glad wind wrinkles the sea, and leaps
To the coconut trees on the crooked hill.

The planter's windmill, heavy and slow,
Turns its arms in the azure glow,
Waves a hand to the sea, and sweeps
The trampled canes in the yard below.

The morning smoke-wreaths fade away
In the brighter blue of the sudden day;
And naked children play in the sun,
Racing the surf of Martin's Bay.

The palms, high-crested and straight and fine,
Swing and bend in line on line.
The tall canes rustle and clash and sigh
As the winter wind goes over and by.

Our shutters creak in the breath of the sea;
And blackbirds hop in the almond tree.
Across the surf at the outer reef,
With skill and valour beyond belief,
The tiny fishing boats plunge and strain,
Race and soar and top the surf,
And win to the lilac sands again.

The lithe brown children have gone to rest-
Shell-hunting over for one more day,
Purple the east and purple the west,
And white stars over Martin's Bay.

The boats, dismasted, gunwale to side,
Rest and forget the turmoil and spray;
A dreamless sleep, till to-morrow's tide
Slips from the sands of Martin's Bay.

The salt wind turns in the crested grove;
The shutters creak in the turning wind;
But the lamps are lit for hearts that rove,
And the path is bright for joy to find.

*Martin's Bay- Barbados.

Theodore Goodridge Roberts, 1934, The Leather Bottle, Ryerson Press, Toronto.


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Subject: RE: ADD: Thomas Goodridge Roberts: Poems of the Sea
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Feb 11 - 01:31 PM

Should Guest hormones..... post be in the Declutter, Diet and Exercise thread?


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Subject: RE: ADD: Thomas Goodridge Roberts: Poems of the Sea
From: Charley Noble
Date: 13 Feb 11 - 02:01 PM

Q-

Evidently another SPAM post which some kind Joe-clone has deleted.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: ADD: Thomas Goodridge Roberts: Poems of the Sea
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Feb 11 - 05:21 PM

Gee, Charlie, it took out my swipe at the D, D and E thread.


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