Old Father Thames

by | Mar 24, 2010 | Poetry | 0 comments

When you look back in time to London
Resting gently on the Bank of the Thames
How long we relied on these well known waters
Like Flower blossoms depend on their stems
For the River was like a huge lifeline
To bring goods and trade from abroad
Or maybe just ship coal from Newcastle
A form of transport they could then afford
As an island we relied on imported commodities
And the Sea the only method of transportation
Bringing food and materials from far off lands
To feed and cater for an ever growing Nation
The Thames at that time was like a main artery
With a constant flow of Maritime vessels to the heart
Of the City at the head of an Empire
From which their precious cargoes their final journeys would start
The banks of the river were thronging with life
At jetties and quays along the river’s side
Eagerly awaiting the turn round of Vessels
With the rise and fall of the tide
For some of the largest freighters
Their holds with cargoes filled to the brim
Needed all the skill of the river Pilots
To safely guide these vessels in
There were cranes and derricks and stevedores
Eager to unload the cargo that the ships bore
And then load these cargoes on to barges and trains
And road haulage lorries by the score
The bulk was carried overland by rail
On a network Oh! so vast
And many a tear was shed by the men of the River
When Sea transport became a thing of the past
The Docks were all closed and their warehouses demolished
And a vast building site the area became
Producing up-market properties for the affluent society
From then the London riverside was never the same
But in the still of the evening if you’re down by the river
And sit with your eyes closed I’m sure
You’ll see the vast Armada of shipping that graced those waters
And the barge steered by the skill of the lighterman’s oar


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