Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, FIGUREHEADS, by CICELY FOX SMITH

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FIGUREHEADS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: You never see a decent figure'ead
Last Line: "in them old days at sea."

"YOU never see a decent figure'ead --
Not now," Bill said,
"A fiddlin' bit o' scroll-work at the bow
That's the most now . . .
But Lord! I've seen some beauties, more'n a few,
An' some rare rum uns, too.

"Folks in all sorts o' queer old-fashioned rigs --
Fellers in wigs --
Chaps in cocked 'ats an' 'elmets -- lords an' dukes --
Folks out o' books --
Niggers in turbans -- mandarins an' Moors --
An' 'eathen gods by scores.

'An' women in all kinds o' fancy dresses --
Queens an' princesses --
Witches on broomsticks, too -- an' spankin' girls
With streamin' curls --
An' dragons, an' sea-serpents -- Lord knows what
I've seen an' what I've not.

"An' some's in breakers' yards, bleached bare with time
An' thick with grime;
An' some stuck up in gardens here an' there
With plants for 'air;
An' no one left as knows but chaps like me
How fine with paint and gold they used to be
In them old days at sea."

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