American Old Time Song Lyrics: 21 The Ship On Fire

Theater, Music-Hall, Nostalgic, Irish & Historic Old Songs, Volume 21

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The storm o'er the ocean flew furious and fast,
And the waves rose in foam at the voice of the blast;
And heavily labored the gale-beaten ship,
Like a stout-hearted swimmer, the spray at his lip;
And dark was the sky o'er the mariner's path.
Except when the lightning illumined it 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 glimmered white in the beams of the moon.
And the breeze up aloft seemed-to whistle, to whistle a tune,
And the wind up aloft seemed 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 sung a sweet song as she rocked it to rest;
And the husband sat cheerily down by her side.
And looked 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-covered 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-
Fire! then a tramp and a rout,
And an uproar of voices arose in the air,
And the mother knelt down, and the half-spoken prayer
That she offered 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.
Ah, there was her refuge whate'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 glistened wild in the glare of the light;
'Twas vain o'er the 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 resigned, yet undaunted and brave,
They lowered the boat, a mere speck on the wave;
First entered the mother, enfolding her child.
It knew she caressed it, looked upward and smiled;
Cold, cold was the night as they drifted away,
And mistily dawned o'er the pathway the day;
And they prayed for the light, and at noontide about
The sun o'er the waters shone joyously out.
"Ho! a sail! ho! a sail! " cried the man on the 1ee,
"Ho! a sail! " and they turned their glad eyes o'er the sea;
"They see us! they see us! the signal is waved!
They bear down upon us, they bear down upon us,
They bear down upon us, the signal is waved,
Thank God! thank God! we're saved!"
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III