By the Lightning We Lost Our Sight
Come all you lads bound over the deep, I hope you will attend,
And listen unto those few lines which I have lately penned.
I was once as hardy a sailor lad as ever furled a sail,
Till by the lightning I lost my sight in that tremendous gale.
On the eighteenth of September last from Cork we did set sail.
We were bound for Gibraltar in a fair and pleasant gale.
The weather being fine, our course did steer our ship before the wind,
And still my love grew warmer for the girl I left behind.
Scarce had we reached our distant port, we lay a few days there,
When our orders ran for old England with the wind still blowing fair.
We shoved our good ship out to sea, and on her did crowd sail,
While a storm arose, the sun eclipsed, it blew a hurricane.
The storm it still continued, and then it blew a gale.
Our captain cried, "My heroes bold, close reef your main top sail"
Scarce had he those words uttered when like tars aloft did they,
Like hardy tars through storm and wind his orders to obey.
Scarce had we reached the main top when a heavier flash rolled by.
Dear God, I ought to remember it, the last sight with my eyes!
Our to'gallantmast to pieces went all by a ball of light,
Which leaves me and four sailors more, by the lightning we lost our sight.
Next morning when the sun arose we were a sight to view.
Our chief mate was washed overboard, and four more of the crew.
The storm it still continued, the lightning sharp did flash,
The foaming seas washed over her, and on her sides did smash.
From Ballads and Sea Songs from Nova Scotia, Mackenzie
Collected from Harry Sutherland