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Saturday at Wroxham

by Alan Hunter

So many boats upon the river!
So many pennants all a-quiver!
So many yachts about the quays,
So many sails amongst the trees;
So many people everywhere,
So much holiday in the air!

The half-past one from Liverpool Street
So filled up to the very last seat,
And people pour our of the station
Filled with holiday jubilation:
Hurrah! Hurrah! We're here! We're here!
Luggage, luggage, everywhere -
So many come with one accord,
So many innocents abroad!
Take my luggage down to Presses' -
Do you know what Bunn's address is? -
What time do the buses go -
How can I find Brimbelow?
Hurry! Hurry! Lose no tricet
Time is flying, we may miss it!
Thus they treat with Time the fawner,
And congregate upon Roy's Corner.

I want provisions for a cruise!
I want some tins of Henizes' stews!
I want some bacon - want some bread -
No, I'll take crispbread instead.
Where do I get paraffin?
Cut the ham up nice and thin!
Can I buy fishing tackle here?
Will you supply a case of beer?
Behold the crowd around the bars,
In sweaters, shorts and panamas!
What gaiety! What summer dresses!
What damsels, in what new distresses!
Stop Me, buy one, two or three,
Strawberry for you, vanilla for me;
Let's buy sun-glasses and a map,
A guide book, and a yachting cap,
Sunburn-lotion, films, and camera,
What glorious impedimenta!
Down to the Boatyards, and the Boat,
We'll eat our first meal here afloat!

The river's packed from dusk till dawning,
From Wroxham Bridge right down to Horning.
The sails are set, the wind is wanting,
Right, you lubbers! Start off quanting!
Ah, but there's wind on Wroxham Broad;
Aye, and there's traffick. What a horde!
There's no right side and no wrong side,
Just a weak side and a strong side;
Plough down dinghies when you're merry,
But always give way to a wherry;
Gently, gently, with the paint
You might think it's tough. It ain't!
Remember, if you wouldn't bruise her,
That there's no brakes aboard a cruiser,
And if the worst comes, in your durance
Thank your stars that there's insurance.
The wise man spends his afternoon
On Wroxham Broad, for he knows soon
The breeze will drop, and leave his mast sick
At Salhouse, or at Woodbastwick.

But what a change on Sunday morning!
Everybody's gone to Horning.

Norfolk Poems




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