The Loss of the Scotch Patrick In September 11th the Scotch Patrick set sail From Gravesend with a pleasant gale With emigrants for Auckland bound Four hundred and seventy-four all told. The ship had been two months at sea Soon in New Zealand they hoped to be. The emigrants to bed retired And soon they were raised with the cries of fire. With frantic cries they rent the air They rushed on deck, no help was there. All through the ship the flames did sweep And many plunged into the deep. Women screamed and tore their hair Strong men weeped in deep despair Mothers in their distress cried wild Save, oh save my darling child.. The captain and his loving wife Jumped in the water to end their life And in eight hours the ship went down Amidst fearful cries and burning sounds. One of her boats got clear away With thirty souls on board that day But alas, alas no tongue can tell The horror that on that crew fell. Not a drop of water had they got Nor a romance of food was in the boat [ie, an ounce] With pious moans they for water cried And one by one they dropped and died. The remaining few with hunger mad Eat the dead bodies and drank their blood. The British Sceptre of Dundee Saw the boat draft on the sea. They picked them up while tears did flow As they listened to their tale of woe. Three out of four hundred and seventy-four Were all that lived to reach the shore. All you who live at home at ease And do not know the dangers of the sea Through storms from above and rough seas from below One hour of safety you seldom know. But He who rules both sea and land And holds the water in His hand Can call together the dead from their graves And claim his own from the ocean wave. note: The fire on the Cospatrick was off the Cape of Good Hope, 11/18/1874: 472 died, 3 anthropophagi survived. Greig-Duncan Folk Song Collection, 32,. No tune given AJS
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