Quinquireme of Nineveh from distant Ophir,
Rowing home to haven in sunny Palestine,
With a cargo of ivory,
And apes and peacocks,
Sandalwood, cedarwood, and sweet white wine.
Stately Spanish galleon coming from the Isthmus,
Dipping through the Tropics by the palm-green shores,
With a cargo of diamonds,
Topazes, and cinnamon, and gold moidores.
Dirty British coaster with a salt-caked smoke stack,
Butting through the Channel in the mad March days,
With a cargo of Tyne coal,
Firewood, iron-ware, and cheap tin trays.
And it struck me that presumably when written (which seems to have been around 1902, according to google, odd, I would have guessed a bit later) the feel of the poem was of change, it went Poetic - > Gritty/Realistic.
Whereas now it's kind of all poetic, only with different flavours - Tyne coal, carried by a little coaster with a smoke-stack, how quaint. Pig-lead? What is pig-lead, it sounds marvellously Victorian? And I can remember tin trays, but do they still exist? All of ours are some sort of moulded resin...
I think it needs another verse. I had a go at one while walking the hounds but I had nothing to write it down on so I will have to have another go - Anyone else fancy having a go?