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LOSS OF THE EDGAR 161
Here comes a messenger can tell the rest; I cannot speak, I am so much opprest Come, gentle messenger, relate their woe, And tell, in brief, the truth of all you saw.
I was at Spithead that time, and saw the sight.
I was amaz'd ; my soul it did affright;
Five hundred persons blown up in the air ;
Their shrieks and cries no mortal cou'd declare.
Some short-allowance mony was to be paid
That fatal day, for which on board they stay'd.
They merry were, and little did they dread
That the next moment they should all be dead.
Removing gun-powder some hours they was ;
That powder wrough[t] their dismal woes, alas !
Thro' some neglect fire to th' powder got,
And all these people kill'd upon the spot.
Blown in an instant up, at once indeed;
That dreadful blow makes hearts of stone to bleed.
Like roaring thunder gave a dreadful crack;
Both ship and people quickly went to wrack.
Legs, arms, heads, hands, feet, hips, bones, back and thighs
By fire and powder flew up to the skies.
Shatter'd at once in shivers up they flew,
And in an instant fled from mortal view.
Their sudden shrieks, gone just before they went,
Did eccho shrilly, and tho' all was bent
To help them in distress, yet it was vain,
Their ship in thousand pieces rent in twain.
O wretched sight! O fatal was the day ! O my dear husband, art thou fled away ? Was this thy fatal exit from this world ? No grave! but peace-meal was thy carcass hurl'd. O heavy message! the sad tidings spread : O my dear husband, are you from me fled ? My soul sinks deep with grief for this my loss, In deep despair my parting soul is toss'd.
Ah, neighbour, neighbour, you are not alone. Here's hundreds of us to lament and moan