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Ship that Never Returned

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Ship that Never Returned

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Ship that Never Returned
(Henry Clay Work)

'Twas a summer's day and the waves were rippled
By a soft and gentle breeze,
When a ship set sail with a cargo ladened
For a port beyond the sea.

There were fond farewells, loving demonstrations
By the ones who were most concerned.
Though they little knew 'twas the fatal voyage
Of the ship that never returned.

Did she ever return? No, she never returned,
And her fate is yet unlearned.
Though for years and years there were fond hearts watching
For the ship that never returned.

Said the feeble lad to his anxious mother,
"l must cross the deep blue sea,
For they say, perchance, in some foreign climate
There is help and strength for me."

'Twas a gleam of hope in the midst of danger
And her heart for her youngest yearned.
But she sent him forth with a smile and a blessing
On the ship that never returned.

"Only one more trip," said a gallant seaman
As he kissed his weeping wife.
"Only one more bag of the gold and treasure
And 'twill last us all through life.

"Then we'll settle down in our cosy cottage
And enjoy the rest we've earned."
But alas, poor man, for he sailed commander
Of the ship that never returned.

Did she ever return? No, she never returned,
And her fate is yet unlearned.
Though for years and years there were fond hearts watching
For the ship that never returned.

From Folk Songs Out of Wisconsin, Peters
Collected from Noble Brown, Millsville WI, 1946
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III