The Pilot

Melody - Sidney Nelson

Thomas Haynes Bayly

"Oh! Pilot! 'tis a fearful night,
There's danger on the deep,
I'll come and pace the deck with thee,
I do not dare to sleep."
"Go down," the sailor cried, "go down,
This is no place for thee;
Fear not! but trust in Providence,
Wherever thou mayst be."
  "Ah! Pilot, dangers often met
We all are apt to slight,
And thou hast known these raging waves
But to subdue their might."
"It is not apathy," he cried,
"That gives this strength to me,
Fear not but trust in Providence,
Wherever thou mayst be.

On such a night the sea engulphed
My father's lifeless form;
My only brother's boat went down
In just so wild a storm;
And such, perhaps, may be my fate,
But still I say to thee,
Fear not but trust in Providence,
Wherever thou mayst be."

Thomas Haynes Bayly was a society poet who flourished at the beginning of the nineteenth century. He had some considerable success despite his critics who were many and articulate. However, a poet who can pen lines like:
'I'd be a butterfly born in a bow'r,
Where roses and lilies and violets meet;
Roving for ever from flower to flower,
And kissing all buds that are pretty and sweet.'
can't be all bad! Certainly his 'Pilot' is made of sterner stuff.

Sidney Nelson, the composer, lived and died in London in the early nineteenth century. He wrote over 8oo pieces, chiefly ballads, among which the best known were 'The Better Land' and 'Mary of Argyle'. In later life he arranged a musical and dramatic entertainment with members of his family and toured America, Canada and Australia

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