Notes

Original poem
by C. Fox Smith

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By the Old Pagoda Anchorage [1926]

Poem by Cicely Fox Smith, 1926,
from Full Sail: More Sea Songs and Ballads,
edited by Cicely Fox Smith,
published by Houghton Mifflin Co., NY, 1926,
pp. 84-87

Adapted and musically arranged by Charles Ipcar 8/9/08

Tune: Charles Ipcar 2008

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image description Chorus:
Racing home for London River!
Crack her on for London River!
Carry on for London River with her chests of China tea
With her chests of China tea!

By the old Pagoda Anchorage they lay full fifteen strong,
Their masts were like a forest, their names were like a song
Fiery Cross and Falcon there,
Lay with Spindrift, doomed and fair,
Robin Hood and Hallowe'en
With Leander there were seen
Ariel and Titania, and proud Thermopylae,
By the old Pagoda Anchorage, when clippers sailed the sea,
When clippers sailed the sea:

Racing home for London River!
Crack her on for London River!
Carry on for London River with her chests of China tea
With her chests of China tea!

By the old Pagoda Anchorage, so many years ago,
What a sight it was to see them with their decks like new laid snow:
Their brasses winking bright,
Their gleaming gold and white,
Their tall and slender spars
Humming shanties to the stars
Those ships so brave and beautiful that never more shall be,
By the old Pagoda Anchorage, when clippers sailed the sea,
When clippers sailed the sea:

Racing home for London River!
Crack her on for London River!
Carry on for London River with her chests of China tea
With her chests of China tea!

By the old Pagoda Anchorage the clippers lie no more,
There's silence on the river, there's silence on the shore
Yet the silted channels seem
Still to murmur as in dream
Of the ships so fair and fleet,
By those shores that used to meet
By the old Pagoda Anchorage, when clippers sailed the sea,
Logging fourteen on a bowline, ay, an' seventeen running free,
An' seventeen running free:

Racing home for London River!
Crack her on for London River!
Carry on for London River with her chests of China tea
With her chests of China tea!

Fiery Cross and Falcon there,
Lay with Spindrift, doomed and fair,
Robin Hood and Hallowe'en
With Leander there were seen
Ariel and Titania, and proud Thermopylae,
By the old Pagoda Anchorage, when clippers sailed the sea,
When clippers sailed the sea!

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Notes:

From Full Sail: More Sea Songs and Ballads, edited by Cicely Fox Smith, published by Houghton Mifflin Co., NY, 1926, pp. 84-87.

Other, less complete, versions of this poem may be found in an earlier edition of Punch Magazine and in Smith's own The Return of the Cutty Sark published in 1924.

The Pagoda Anchorage at Mawei was twenty-five miles from the entrance to the Min River and twelve miles below the City of Foochow (Fuzhou) in Southern China.

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By the Old Pagoda Anchorage [1926]

Poem by Cicely Fox Smith, 1926, from Full Sail: More Sea Songs and Ballads, edited by Cicely Fox Smith, published by Houghton Mifflin Co., NY, 1926, pp. 84-87

By the old Pagoda Anchorage they lay full fifteen strong,
And their spars were like a forest, and their names were like a song,
Fiery Cross and Falcon there
Lay with Spindrift, doomed and fair,
And Sir Lancelot of a hundred famous fights with wind and wave:
Belted Will and Hallowe'en
With Leander there were seen,
And Ariel and Titania and Robin Hood the brave:
Thyatira of the lovely name and proud Thermopylae,
By the old Pagoda Anchorage when clippers sailed the sea,
Racing home to London River
Carry on for London River
Crack her on for London River with her chests of China tea!

By the old Pagoda Anchorage (it's many a year ago!)
A sight it was to see them with their decks like drifted snow,
And their brasses winking bright,
And the gleaming gold and white
Of the carven kings and maidens on each slim and soaring bow,
And the high and slender spars
Humming shanties to the stars,
And the hulls whose speed and staunchness are a dead man's secret now
The ships so brave and beautiful that never more shall be,
By the old Pagoda Anchorage when clippers sailed the sea,
Racing home to London River
Crack her on for London River
Carry on for London River with her chests of China tea!

By the old Pagoda Anchorage the clippers lie no more,
There is silence on the river, there is quiet on the shore,
And the silted channels seem
Still to murmur as in dream
Of the tea ships in their glory, lifting sea-ward on the tide,
All the strong and fair and fleet,
By those shores that used to meet,
And the valiant master mariners that walked their decks in pride,
By the old Pagoda Anchorage when clippers sailed the sea,
Logging fourteen on a bowline, ay, and seventeen running free,
Racing home for London River
Crack her on for London River
Carry on for London River with her chests of China tea!

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