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Sailing Barges off Southend

by
 Drifting on a tide from long ago,
They swing at anchor silently
Wreathed in early morning mist,
Like ghosts grown mellow with antiquity.
With names like Gladys, Will and Edith May Heroic legends motionless on ancient bows, They are waiting for the breeze, patiently Submissive to the whims of air and ebb.
Later, with windlass rattling as anchors are weighed, Sails set at the stirring of wind over tide They bear away a pageant of remembered trade - A flock of stately seabirds through the lanes.

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