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A Final Tribute to the QE2

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It occurred to me that it would be very nice to gather all of the wonderful poems that have been written about the QE2 by some of our very talented CC members, and place them together as a wonderful collection and final tribute to our iconic ship, the QE2.

 

Please feel free to add to the collection.

 

GOODBYE



 

 

 

‘Goodbye. Goodbye’. The seagulls cry

 

The band plays “Auld Lang Syne”.

 

 

Gari

‘Farewell. Farewell’ The voices swell.


‘Ye’ll no come back again’.

-

The sobbing whistle’s triple blast

Starts a prickle in the eye.

It echoes back ‘The last, The last

The last time for ‘Sailing By’.

-

The firetug, sprays turned off, turns home

The small craft fall behind

And Soton fades into the gloam

And salt is on the wind.

Goodbye.

-o-o-o-

Strange seabirds cry ‘Dubai, Dubai.’

The heaving lines fly ashore

Dubai, Dubai, for aye and aye

Your voyages are o’er.

-

Dubai Dubai. The heaving lines fly

The mooring cables strain

Goodbye Goodbye, Goodbye Goodbye

The passengers’ sad refrain.

-

‘Goodbye Goodbye’ the passengers sigh

Walking down the quay

‘For aye, for aye’, Dubai’s reply

‘For aye she’ll bide wi’ me.’

Goodbye.

-o-o-o-

All gone, all gone, the people gone

The Champagne and the bands.

And Gulliver’s made fast at last

By Lilliputian hands.

-

The desert night comes creeping in

The desert wind blows chill.

And deck by deck the lights go out

The ship lies dark and still.

-

She waits the dawn, her final dawn

When men will come with tools

To finish her pelagic life.

She must learn a captive’s rules.

-

But for tonight, Hold tight, hold tight

Hold tight while you still are whole

For one last night, hold tight, hold tight

Hold tight on to your soul.

Goodbye

-o-o-o-

 

Ah!.

If steel could dream,

What dreams, what dreams.

What dreams would this steel dream?

If steel could dream

Would this steel dream

Of all the things it’s seen?

-

Of gliding through the tropic blue,

Of balmy palmy bays.

Of fragrant days and star jewelled nights

The ocean all ablaze.

Goodbye

-

Of slambanging through Atlantic wrack

Its great waves green and grey

Her mighty forefoot pounds them down

To say, 'Make way', 'Make way'

Goodbye.

-

The lift and scend as Southern Swells

House high beneath it sigh

The high and chilly latitudes

Where the albatross hangs high

Goodbye

-o-o-o-

 

A thousand seas a thousand lands

And millions brought safe home.

For forty years I’ve plied my trade

But they won’t let me home.

In Glasgow yard

From Scottish steel

Is where I came to be.

But now I’m sold for foreign gold

And banished from my sea.

Goodbye

-

My engine’s warmth is cooling now

The dawn draws swiftly on

The foreign dockyard mateys come

It’s over now, I’m gone.

Goodbye.

-o-o-o-

 

Ah!

 

If steel could dream

What dreams, what dreams

What dreams would this steel dream?

If steel could dream

Would this steel dream

Of when it was a Queen.

Goodbye.

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Here's my poor attempt at recreating the style of the master (to anyone who is not familiar with the work of William Topaz McGonagall, and therefore unlikely to understand the paradoy inherent in this - it's probably best to look away now as what follows is not pretty):

 

Oh beautiful beautiful QE2

Which has sailed around the oceans for many a year or two

It is to be sure a very sad day

Now that you are finally on your way to Dubai

 

On the day that you were launched from the slipway of John Brown

Loads of people from Clydebank did celebrate in the town

And plenty of other folk came from other places far and near

So that they could all watch the event and make lots of noise, and

shout and cheer.

 

Many's the time you have sailed across the wide Atlantic

And your beautiful launderette has driven many of your passengers

frantic

But that really doesn't matter and will not bother anyone

Because, at the end of the day, they still all managed to get their

washing done.

 

Many many people have walked your lovely decks

And when it was rough some may even have messed up their kecks

But now you are going, I'm sure that all will have to agree

That you're a much better boat than we'll ever get with QE3

 

Truly, I think that the management of Cunard must have more than one

screw loose

To send you off to the Middle East so that for a hotel they can you

use.

And I pray that for ever and ever your ghost it will come back and

haunt

And scare them out of their wits and that with their mistakes

you will them taunt.

 

James Christie

With apologies to Mr W T McGonagall esq, Scotland's Greatest Ever Poet

 

Aternote: I happen to know that Happyscot has followed this up with a most excellent piece of verse written in the style of Noel Coward (or possibly Rudyard Kipling, or maybe Robert Service, or it could have been Pam Ayers). Whatever, maybe we can prevail upon him to post it on here as well.

__________________

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What Ship is That?





What ship is that, that shines out there

Between the sea and sky so fair?

A beauty that has caught the light,

Self- assured, without a care?

There never was a ship as white.

What ship is that, she's quite a sight,

Shimmering--her crown's aglow

With funnel high and ruby bright!

The sight of her is quite a show.

Look closer though. She is in tow!

What ship is that? She looks so new.

I know she is the QE2.

The sky is dark and starts to flow,

Signaling the end is nigh.

The Queen of ships is soon to die!

What ship is that that makes me cry?

What ship is that, that's in Dubai?

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Here are a few of my favourite photos of QE2. The first two show her at anchor off Aghios Nikolaos in Crete:

 

qe2aghiosnikolaoscrete-fmdqfuuj.jpeg

 

qe2aghiosnikolaos-4c7td6wx3.jpeg

 

The next one show her alongside the quay in Marmaris

 

qe2marmaris-fmdqkdnk.jpeg

 

And the final one is of QE2 at Pinto Wharf, Grand Harbour, Valletta, Malta

 

qe2grandharbourvalletta-4c7te3vfj.jpeg

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Here's my poor attempt at recreating the style of the master (to anyone who is not familiar with the work of William Topaz McGonagall, and therefore unlikely to understand the paradoy inherent in this - it's probably best to look away now as what follows is not pretty):

And so I searched my Norton's Anthology of English Literature and never found a mention of W T McGonagall. How could they have missed the works of a poet even greater then Bobby Burns??

I did a little research about him and arguably his greatest work (The Tay Bridge Disaster)! http://www.mcgonagall-online.org.uk/

I found him to be the inspiration I needed for what is to follow.

Thank you Jimmy!!

 

Death of a Queen

Aye, tear her old red funnel down

Long has it smoked the sky,

And many an eye has tear’d to see

Her shipped off to Dubai;

Beneath it rang the stewards bell,

As he called them to high tea;

The Queen who knew every ocean well

Shall no longer sail the sea!!

 

Her decks, once served the men of war,

As they went to meet the foe,

When she sailed across Southampton’s bar

To the Falklands far below,

No more she’ll feel the cruiser's tread,

Or the ocean winds so free;

The Arabs of the shore shall rent

The lady of the sea!

 

Oh, better that her rusty hull

Should sink beneath the wave;

Her life was spent on the seven seas,

And there should be her grave;

Let her fly proud Britain’s flag,

Set her course away from shore,

And let her sleep in the ocean deep ,

Still a Queen for ever more!

 

With profound apologies to Oliver Wendell Holmes

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Nice one Gene. I have an apology to make, to Mr Longfellow and his good mate Hiawatha. Sorry guys.

 

 

By the shores of Sotons waters

By the greasy dockside waters

Stands the terminal, the berthing

Of the mighty ocean liners

High above it swing the cranejibs

Swinging dipping lifting raising

Lifting raising all the luggage

Luggage that the people bring there

To support their ocean voyage.

Dark beside the quayside waiting

Waiting stands the giant Queetu.

Black she stands there in the sunlight

White she glistens in the sunlight

And her funnel orange, red is

Like a beacon proudly smoking

Smoking as the mighty engines

Purr and rumble with their power.

 

Now at last the people coming

Coming all the happy people

Smiling chatting laughing gaily

Posing by the lifebouy easel

Posing for their boarding picture.

Pictures sell for twenty-seven

Of the dollars of the Yankees.

But they say it must be worth it

Cheap at half the price they think it

Though the picture may be awful

Makes you look like Quasimodo

And your wife like… let’s not go there.

 

Then at last the ship is leaving

Leaving England for the last time

All because the Emiratis

Arabs with their filthy lucre

Have beguiled the proud ship’s owners

Tempted them beyond resistance

Dangled bags of gold and rubies

And the Carnivali’s, - dastards

Have succumbed to the tempting.

They have sold the mighty liner

Sold this icon of the oceans.

Loud and long the lamentations

Lamentations of Cunarders

Waily waily hear them crying

Daily hear them waily waily.

Cursing swearing at the villains

Who have sold their trusty boaty.

 

 

But the dastard Carnivalis

Pay no heed to all their sorrow

To their tears and cries of sorrow.

Saying just ‘It’s Economics’

Economics made us do it.

For we must turn out a profit

Profit for our good shareholders

That they all may prosper greatly

And have suites on ocean cruisers

Cruisers of the NCL line

And the Hal and all the others.

Cunardeers can kiss our bottoms

Bottom line is all we care for.

So it is the mighty Queetu

Turned into a grand hotel is

Grand hotel out in the desert.

But at least it will be over,

No more final this and that trips.

And for that oh Carnvivalis

I for one applaud you greatly.

 

Gari

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It's surprisingly difficult to cut one's own throat.

 

Ah! There we go!

 

ROFLMAO

Thanks HS

G.

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It's surprisingly difficult to cut one's own throat. ...

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again?

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The poems are lovely, but the proud men of Clydebank would be rather upset to hear the ship described as being built in Glasgow!

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The poems are lovely, but the proud men of Clydebank would be rather upset to hear the ship described as being built in Glasgow!

 

Rob,

 

I trust you've granted me exemption from your criticism :)

 

Jimmy

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The poems are lovely, but the proud men of Clydebank would be rather upset to hear the ship described as being built in Glasgow!

 

Oh God. I bet Will or Byron or Keats never had this nitpicking.

 

Poetic licence old boy.

 

Anyway it's the same river and it's only 6 miles away as the boat floats. And it is contiguous with the City of Glasgow. And I don't suppose 99.99% of the population would know where one ended and the other began if it weren't for some thundering great notice saying something like:

 

' Welcome to Clydebank - Cunard Country'.

 

Stomps off in the huff!

 

Gari icon7.gif

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Obituary of a Queen

 

Queen Elizabeth Two, 1967-2008

Born in Clydebank, Scotland, U K.

Her death to come slowly,there is no debate.

 

Began her journey, none could wait,

In 1969, she made her way,

Queen Elizabeth Two, 1967-2008.

 

Then in '82, an instrument of fate,

To transport troops so far away.

Her death to come slowly there is no debate.

 

1987, new engines would recreate

A glorious new liner for a modern day,

Queen Elizabeth Two, 1967-2008.

 

By 2002, her miles were her fate,

Five million nautical miles to the day,

Her death would come slowly, there is no debate.

 

In 2007, we would learn of her fate,

To be sold to Dubai brought great dismay,

Queen Elizabeth Two, 1967-2008'

Her death to come slowly, there is no debate.

 

 

By Gail

Apologies to Dylan Thomas in my attenpt at a Villanelle.

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Here is a poem by Oliver William Holmes that actually saved the beloved ship, "Old Ironsides".

 

It almost seems that his words are describing the beloved QE2.

 

 

OLD IRONSIDES

By Oliver Wendell Holmes

September 16, 1830

Ay, tear her tattered ensign down!

Long has it waved on high,

And many an eye has danced to see

That banner in the sky;

Beneath it rung the battle shout,

And burst the cannon's roar;

The meteor of the ocean air

Shall sweep the clouds no more.

Her deck, once red with heroes' blood,

Where knelt the vanquished foe,

When winds were hurrying o'er the flood,

And waves were white below,

No more shall feel the victor's tread,

Or know the conquered knee;

The harpies of the shore shall pluck

The eagle of the sea!

Oh, better that her shattered bulk

Should sink beneath the wave;

Her thunders shook the mighty deep,

And there should be her grave;

Nail to the mast her holy flag,

Set every threadbare sail,

And give her to the god of storms,

The lightning and the gale!

AUTHOR'S NOTE

By Oliver Wendell Holmes

This was the popular name by which the frigate Constitution was known. The poem was first printed in the Boston Daily Advertiser, at the time when it was proposed to break up the old ship as unfit for service. I subjoin the paragraph which led to the writing of the poem. It is from the Advertiser of Tuesday, September 14, 1830:--

"Old Ironsides.--- It has been affirmed upon good authority that the Secretary of the Navy has recommended to the Board of Navy Commissioners to dispose of the frigate Constitution. Since it has been understood that such a step was in contemplation we have heard but one opinion expressed, and that in decided disapprobation of the measure. Such a national object of interest, so endeared to our national pride as Old Ironsides is, should never by any act of our government cease to belong to the Navy, so long as our country is to be found upon the map of nations. In England it was lately determined by the Admiralty to cut the Victory, a one-hundred gun ship (which it will be recollected bore the flag of Lord Nelson at the battle of Trafalgar), down to a seventy-four, but so loud were the lamentations of the people upon the proposed measure that the intention was abandoned. We confidently anticipate that the Secretary of the Navy will in like manner consult the general wish in regard to the Constitution, and either let her remain in ordinary or rebuild her whenever the public service may require."--New York Journal of Commerce.

 

 

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"Regally, stately she moves from her quayside

Away down the Solent she slips on the ebb tide,

Heart rending and poignant her siren's last crying

Her faithful are weeping- the great ship is dying."

 

Excerpt from Jimmy Christie's "The Great Ship"

 

11/11/08

 

qe2aghiosnikolaoscrete-fmdqfuuj.jpeg

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Hey Curachan, mind if I add these photos to our QE2 Farewell gallery?

 

http://pictures.cruisecritic.com/showgallery.php?cat=525

 

Thanks,

 

Dan

 

 

Here are a few of my favourite photos of QE2. The first two show her at anchor off Aghios Nikolaos in Crete:

 

qe2aghiosnikolaoscrete-fmdqfuuj.jpeg

 

qe2aghiosnikolaos-4c7td6wx3.jpeg

 

The next one show her alongside the quay in Marmaris

 

qe2marmaris-fmdqkdnk.jpeg

 

And the final one is of QE2 at Pinto Wharf, Grand Harbour, Valletta, Malta

 

qe2grandharbourvalletta-4c7te3vfj.jpeg

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Go ahead.

 

J

 

Hello J,

 

I hope you didn't mind me using the last verse of your poem. And the QE2 picture? Is it OK?

 

Gail

Edited by The Real PM

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This poem was read at the passenger talent show during the 'Land of the Midnight Sun' cruise in June this year. Brought a tear to Gun's eye!

 

Gracious lady of the oceans,

Mastering the winds and tides,

Sea and sky are your dominions,

Sun and stars are still your guides.

Far and wide across the waters

Of the world you bravely roam,

Bearing us to new adventures,

Returning always safely home.

At every anchorage and harbour

People stop along their way

To hail and greet your glad arrival,

Salute you as you sail away.

From Equator to the Arctic

North to South and East to West,

Beauty, pleasure, joy, achievement:

All of these are your bequest.

For, Queen Elizabeth, time is passing,

Other ships of other name

Will carry on your proud traditions

But it can never be the same.

Ship of dreams, belov’d by thousands,

Memories will never cease.

When you reach your final harbour,

Gracious lady, rest in peace.

Edited by iain789

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This poem was read at the passenger talent show during the 'Land of the Midnight Sun' cruise in June this year. Brought a tear to Gun's eye!

 

Gracious lady of the oceans,

Mastering the winds and tides,

Sea and sky are your dominions,

Sun and stars are still your guides.

 

Far and wide across the waters

Of the world you bravely roam,

Bearing us to new adventures,

Returning always safely home.

 

At every anchorage and harbour

People stop along their way

To hail and greet your glad arrival,

Salute you as you sail away.

 

From Equator to the Arctic

North to South and East to West,

Beauty, pleasure, joy, achievement:

All of these are your bequest.

 

For, Queen Elizabeth, time is passing,

Other ships of other name

Will carry on your proud traditions

But it can never be the same.

 

Ship of dreams, belov’d by thousands,

Memories will never cease.

When you reach your final harbour,

Gracious lady, rest in peace.

 

 

That is beautiful. Thank you for submitting it.:)

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This is a wonderful poem by Capnpugwash

 

Now is the time to say goodbye,

Now is the time to yield a sigh

From her home port yesterday

The QE2 is off to live in Dubai

 

Sand, sand the Captain said,

That light, what colour?

Was it green or maybe red ? No matter surely most

of the passengers are still in bed

 

She dwelt a while on said sandspit

In strong winds, a cinch to hit.

No-ones to blame, it doesn’t matter

The flagship’s off to live near Qatar

 

Now she’s sailed away forever

Marvellous fireworks, lips aquiver

She navigates Southampton Water

Like a liner, like she ought to.

 

Ask me my view if you want to

I’m not sure that it holds water

But it seems to me that the UAE

Should decide its’ destiny

__________________

image.php?u=355963&type=sigpic&dateline=1223363316 A poor day sailing beats a good day ashore.

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It occurred to me that it would be very nice to gather all of the wonderful poems that have been written about the QE2 by some of our very talented CC members, and place them together as a wonderful collection and final tribute to our iconic ship, the QE2.

 

Please feel free to add to the collection.

 

GOODBYE

 

 

 

‘Goodbye. Goodbye’. The seagulls cry...





Ah!.

If steel could dream,

What dreams, what dreams.

What dreams would this steel dream?

If steel could dream

Would this steel dream

Of all the things it’s seen?

...

Gari

PM

 

This is a heartbreaking poem, most artfully constructed.

 

Many thanks.

 

Neil

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