Welcome to the Mauretania

The first arrival of the Mauretania in Fishguard and Goodwick Harbour in 1909 was celebrated not only by the newspapers, but also inspired local poets.


Welcome to the Mauretania

J. D. Symmonds

Thrice welcome, Mauretania,
We hail thee, kindly seer,
Who speaks of Fishguard's future
In accents loud and clear;
From down the midnight shadows
Where towns have not a name,
She mounts up now to noonday
Among the ports of fame.

Thrice welcome, Mauretania,
May angels round thee glide
To convoy every passage
Safe o’er Atlantic’s tide;
Wind, wave, mist, fire and lightning,
I urge you, one and all,
That to this queen of vessels
You cause no harm to fall.

Thrice welcome, Mauretania,
Thy bulk tames Ocean’s frown,
The far West at our elbow
Thy magic speed brings down
What four full moons of sailing
Could achieve before;
Four days can now the distance
Bridge quite from shore to shore.

Thrice welcome, Mauretania,
And to the Captain bold,
Dame Wales is proud to own him—
A Welshman, good as gold;
All praise to such a hero
Whose inner shoulder keeps
A load so huge and heavy
Above the yawning deeps.

We honour both great parties
Who had the word to say,
That ope’d the gate to enter
Upon this happy day;
Great Western and Cunarder,
May these henceforth agree,
While trains move over metals,
While liners plough the sea.

Fishguard, August, 1909

This poem was published as part of a 'Special "Mauretania" Edition' of the local newspaper The County Echo on 30 August 1909 and captures much of the excitement felt by the local population who turned out in masses to watch the spectacle.