The Flemings of Torbay
The thrilling tale we heard last week is in our mem 'ries yet,
Two fishermen from Newfoundland snatched from the jaws of death,
Two fine young men born in Torbay they went a drift at sea,
On the eighteenth day of April from the schooner Jubilee.
They left to prosecute their voyage near the Grand Banks stormy shore
Where many's the hardy fisherman was never heard of more;
For six long days in storms at sea those hardy fellows stood,
Fatigued, footsore, and hungry, no water or no food.
Tossed on the seas ail those long days while bitter was each night,
No friend to speak a kindly word, no sail to heave in sight;
At last a vessel hove in sight and saw the floating speck,
The Jessie Maurice was her name, coal laden from Quebec.
Our wheelsman well-trained he espied clear through the misty haze
Those poor exhausted fishermen adrift so many days,
Our captain a kindhearted man had just came on the deck,
They orders gave to hard a port and shaped her for the wreck.
Two hours or more while the winds did roar the Jessie sailed around,
To see if any tidings of the dory could be found,
The crew was stationed on the bow all anxious her to haii
When the captain spied her in the fog just aft the water rail.
Our brave commander right away the order gave to launch
The jolly boats that hung astern of good old oak so staunch,
Two brave old seamen manned the oars and at the word to go,
The captain standing in the bow to take the boat in tow.
The captain gripped the painter for to bring her to the barque,
While those on board were still as death, their features cold and dark,
A sling was then made fast below in which those men to place
While tenderhearted mariners they worked with noble faith.
No sign of life was in those men as they were placed in bed,
But still our captain held out hope the vital spark not fled,
He watched for days and sleepless nights to bring those men around,
And on the second days discerned but just a feeble sound.
The first to speak was Peter, the eldest of the two,
He told the captain who they were, a part of the Jubilee's crew,
And how in April on the Banks they chanced to drift astray
And lay exposed in an open boat for six long stormy days.
Our captain then our stuns'l set and shaped her for Quebec
He took on board the dory and all left of the wreck,
He watched those men with a mother's care while in their berth they lay,
And saved the lives of two poor boys once more to see Torbay.
God bless the Jessie's gallant crew, likewise their captain bold;
Their name should be recorded into letters of bright gold,
And send them peace and happiness in every port they lay,
The plucky boys that saved the life of the Flemmings of Torbay.
From Maritime Folk Songs, Creighton
Collected from Gordon Connely, Glen Haven 1950