The Ship on Fire

Melody - Henry Russell, 1834

Charles Mackey 1834

2½ Minute Introduction

The storm o'er the ocean flew furious and fast,
And the waves rose in foam at the voice of the blast,
And heavily labour'd the gale-beaten ship,
Like a stout hearted swimmer, the spray at his lip;
And dark was the sky o'er the mariners path,
Except when the lightning illum'd in wrath
A young mother knelt in the cabin below,
And pressing her babe to her bosom of snow,
She pray'd to her God 'mid the hurricane wild,
Oh father have mercy, look down on my child,

It pass'd. The fierce whirlwind career'd on its way,
And the ship like an arrow divided the spray,
Her sails glimmer'd white in the beams of the moon
|: And the breeze up aloft seem'd to whistle, to whistle a tune, :|

There was joy in the ship as she furrow'd the foam,
For fond hearts within her were dreaming of home,
The young mother press'd her fond babe to her breast,
And sang a sweet song as she rock'd it to rest,
And the husband sat cheerily down by her side,
And look'd with delight on the face of his bride.

Oh happy, said he, when our roaming is o'er,
We'll dwell in our cottage that stands by the shore,
Already in fancy its roof I descry
And the smoke of its hearth curling up to the sky,
Its garden so green and its vine cover'd wall,
The kind friends awaiting to welcome us all,
And the children that sport by the old oaken tree;
Ah gently the ship glided over the sea.

Hark! what was that -
Hark hark to the shout,
Then a tramp and a rout
And an uproar of voices arose in the air,
And the mother knelt down and the half spoken pray'r,
That she offer'd to God in her agony wild
Was Father have mercy look down look down on my child;
She flew to her husband, she clung to his side,
Oh there was her refuge what e'er might betide.

Fire! Fire! it was raging above and below,
And the cheeks of the Sailors grew pale at the sight,
And their eyes glisten'd wild in the glare of the light;
'Twas vain o'er that ravage the waters to drip,
The pitiless flame was the Lord of the ship,
And the smoke, in thick wreaths, mounted higher and higher,
Oh God it is fearful to perish by Fire;

Alone with destruction, alone on the sea,
Great Father of mercy, our hope is in thee.

Sad at heart and resign'd, yet undaunted and brave,
They lower'd the boat a mere speck on the wave,
First enter'd the mother enfolding her child,
It knew she caress'd it look'd upward and smil'd,

Cold cold was the night as they drifted away,
And mistily dawn'd o'er the pathway of day,
And they pray'd for the light and the moontide about,
The sun o'er the waters shone joyously out,

Ho! a sail! Ho! a sail! cried the man on the lee,
Ho! a sail! and they turned their glad eyes o'er the sea,
They see us they see us the signal is wav'd;
|: They bear down upon us :|
They bear down upon us the signal is wav'd;

Thank God, thank God, we're sav'd.

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