The Westgate        ©Brian Hooper, June 2008
They marched out through the Westgate, the Black Prince and his men,
To the battlefields of Crecy, and some came home again.
They marched through here with Henry, to fight at Agincourt,
And now you've sailed away as well, and I wonder where you are.
It’s rung with shouts of soldiers, and sailors' cheery cries,
What a tale this gate could tell if gates had ears and eyes!
But gates can't tell the future, and what I need to know
        Is "Are you coming back to me, or will you answer no?"
They set off from Southampton to a new world in the west,
The Mayflower and the Speedwell, Queen Mary and the rest;
Freighters left for Africa, troopships left for France,
Ferries for the Isle of Wight, now see the seagulls dance!  It’s rung …
Now cruise ships and containers arrive and sail again,
And from these ancient walls I watch as sail gives way to pain.
There's romance in the sea, they say, but storms are everywhere,
So when you need some shelter, find the Westgate, I'll be there.  It’s rung ….
There's a story that I've often read on a plaque up on the wall,
Of how they rebuilt, piece by piece, the Tudor Merchants' Hall;
I know just how that Hall felt when they took it all apart,
But who's to reassemble all the pieces of my heart?   It’s rung …….