Tags: 1863 Anglo-Saxon
Gently o’er the swelling deep
The noble vessel rolls;
On deck the guards their night-watch keep;
Within her bosom safely sleep
Five hundred livng souls.
The moon pours down her pallid ray
Upon the placid tide;
And bounding on she throws away,
In crystal showers, the seething spray
That leaver her massive side.
Next Phoebus rolls his car of State
Above the Eastern Wave;
And sheds bright hope to hearts elate.
False hopes! They rush but to their fate.
A dismal wat’ry grave!
For soon those rays of glory bright.
Are shrouded dim and dark!
A shadow worse than Egypt’s night,
Or ere the Great One said ” Be light”
Enrobes the fatal bark!
Down drops the fog’s thick lurid shroud—
Hark! ‘ tis the breakers’ rout,
More dreadful than the thunder’s cloud,
Breaks on the ear! now piercing, loud,
Sounds dire despair’s shrill shout!
Crash on the billow-beaten rock!
Back on the foaming crest;
Onward again with murderous shock,
The surges seem her strength to mock,
And beat with fiercer zest.
The mighty ship that crossed the main
In an instant disappears!
The massive bolts are rent in twain,
But shattered fragments now remain,
Of the labored work of years!
Five hundred souls! oh, woful plight!
From infancy to age
Tossed by the boiling surges’ might,
Now raised on high—now lost to sight
And swallowed in their rage!
The cowering infant madly torn
From off the mother’s breast,
Husband of wife and children shorn,
And youth and strength all swiftly borne
Like straws on the boiling crest.
And now their wailing is heard no more.
They have sunk from the drifting planks—
And naught is heard but the ocean roar
And the voice of the saved on the cold, saltshore,
As they send up their prayer of thanks!
Citation: Murphy, James. Old Colony Song Book, Newfoundland (St. John’s: James Murphy, 1904), 62-63.