West Looe is the quieter half of this thriving Cornish Harbor town. The
houses, inns and shops of the town are built into the ragged crevice formed
by two hillsides, and gives the appearance of a town defying gravity.
Like all ancient fishing ports, West Looe boasts a string of legends and
ghastly tales. A ghostly white hare is seen disappearing in The Jolly
Sailor Inn, a portent of misfortune, while the quayside remembers tales
of the 'press gangs', smugglers and pirates. As you walk along the quayside,
with the water lapping gently at the boats, it is all too easy to believe
the stories, and get drawn into the romance of it all. It may be romantic
now, but smuggling was an offense punishable by death. The poem, below,
by Rudyard Kipling, follows a fretful night for the smugglers of Cornwall,
as the customs men hunt high and low for those carrying contraband goods.