Far away-oh far away-
We seek a world o'er the ocean spray!
We seek a land across the sea,
Where bread is plenty and men are free,
The sails are set, the breezes swell-
England, our country, farewell! farewell!
Aboard the Anglican (Political) 1868 A Heavy Squall at Sea Angus C. Robertson A Sailor's Description of a Ride on Horseback 1873 A Sketch 1901 Julian Hinckley Blue Jacket 1866 Annon An Immigrant's Letter 1874 S.A. Register Charlotte O'Neil's Song 1987 Fiona Farrell Clipper Days Emigrant's Treadmill 1864 Laurence James Kennaway En Voyage 1883 Caroline Mason Farewell to Emigrants 1843 Fill us with Wool J.St.A. Jewell Flying - Fish Sailor Angus C. Robertson For those at Sea 1874 Grammar in Rhyme 1861 Anon Jack's first day ashore after a long voyage Angus C. Robertson Jack's Prayer Angus C. Robertson Let's fling the knots behind Letters 1867 Ralph Waldo Emerson Lines on the late Fire in the "Pladda" 1661 G.F. Loss of the Steamer "City of Dunedin" 1865 Edward Alleynm No more of Australia! 1852 P.B. On Board the "Opawa" 1878 Maria Wells O My Luve's like a red, red rose Robert Burns Sacramento Salt Horse Song of the Emigrant 1853 "Southesk" 1879 Anon, more poems Southesk Weekly News pdf Steering and Sailing Rules 1868 Assistant Secretary to B/T, London Success to the Royal Bride 1860 Anon Success to the "Steadfast" 1851 The Canterbury Jubilee 1899 Louisa Blake The Emigrant 1911 B.E. Baughan The Emigrant Ship 1843 Centaur The Emigrant Ships 1902 John Masefield The Heavy Weather Sailor Angus C. Robertson The Matoaka 1871 James Duffy The Master of the Storm 1927 James Rowe / J. Porter Thomasan The Mother's Lament 1866 G.E.L. The Night-Watch Song of the "Charlotte Jane" 1850 Mr. J.E. Fitzgerald The Pilot in Peril (Political) 1847 Jessie Hammond The Pilot's Daughter Jane 1870 The Old Colonial Clipper John Anderson The Old Sea Dog Days Angus C. Robertson The Old Tea Clipper Days Angus C. Robertson The Sailors Alphabet The Sea 1875 The Ships 1875 Francis Sinclair The South East Trade 1910 Captain John Tombleson, N.Z.T. The Sunken Galleon 1900 Thomas Tracy Bouve The Warriors of the Sea - A Life-Boat Story 1886 The Whaler Fleet 1864 Arthur J. Munby The Wreck of the Orpheus 1863 Anon The Wreck of the "William and Mary" 1880 John Crop The Voyage of the "Buffalo" 1836 The Voyage was Done 1850 The Yarn of the "Nancy Bell" 1866 W.S. Gilbert Voyage of the Good Ship "Hindostan" 1874 H.H. Gibson Wahine Disaster 1968 We're homeward bound a sea shanty Wreck of the "Cataraqui" 1845 Wrecks 1865 Harper's Weekly You may ask, why is a ship called a �She�?
Sam Hunt was asked in August 2007
what he would be doing if he hadn't become a poet
he replied that he would have been a boat builder who wrote poetry.
"Poetry is like boats
- it has to float."
The sea is a great sovent of song. Here meet the songs of the British tar and the Yankee seaman, Irishman and Negro, lake and river, land and sea. The sailorman finds a song in every port, takes what he likes where he finds it.
Song of the Lady Jocelyn page 1 page 2
Comprises a holograph diary kept by Warnock while a passenger on the `Lady Jocelyn' in 1878 from Belfast to Auckland which includes notes with words of songs, `The Lady Jocelyn and her crew' by Mrs Morgan Morris, `Song of the Lady Jocelyn', `Speed on good ship' by K D, `Blow ye zephyrs blow', `Roar ye billows roar' and `Happy hours in the Lady Jocelyn' by Frances M Johnston and report of first dramatic entertainment on board the vessel.
"We're homeward bound,
heard them say,
Good-by, fare ye well.
Good-by, fare ye well.
We're homeward bound.
sung by seamen as they marched round and round the capstan
THE OLD TEA-CLIPPER DAYS
I have sailed in old tea-clippers,
Full rigged clippers, lofty, trim;
Bounding o'er the laughing waters
With the wind abaft the beam,
And her lovely, snowy-white wings-
All a-pulling in the gale:
Now behold, she rolls to leeward,
Now she dips her weather rail,
I can see her slanting wet decks,
Green with slime amidships too:
I can hear old Bill, the bos'un
Cursing at our bully crew:
I can see each hairy visage
Laughing in the briny spray
Swinging on the topsail halliards,
Singing chanties wild and gay,
Oh! the rushing of the waters
As we haul and pull with glee,
Lashing, driving in our faces,
Filling seaboots to the knee,
With our soul and body lashings
Hauled full taut around the waist,
While the bos'un curse like thunder,
"Damn your eyes! Belay! Make Haste!"
We have split the hardy pantiles
With our sheath-knives thro' and thro;
And took out the crawling maggots
Ere we hashed them for the crew,
We have felt the pangs of hunger
As we made some cracker hash -
"Dandy-fank" and "spotted harry,"
Mixed with sugar brown, a dash.
We have tacked and ran before it,
In the roaring forties - well -
We have wallow'd in the Tropics
Where the sun's as hot as Hell!
In a stark and stinking blizzard,
We have weathered old Cape Horn;
And we passed the "Flying Dutchman"
With his topsails rent and torn.
By Angus Cameron Robertson (Mariner)
Born 1867 Skye, Scotland.
Published 1927 Dunedin. NZ
THE HEAVY WEATHER SAILOR
By Angus C. Robertson
I love the sea when Neptune frowns,
And when a mighty gale sweeps down,
Lashing the waves to mountains high,
While leeward with a plaintive cry,
Before the blast, the sea fowls fly.
FLYING - FISH SAILOR
By Angus C Robertson
The sea, is right enough, I say,
When squalls blow o'er and things are still,
Wind, wind enough the sails to fill,
And we glide o'er a summer sea.
A HEAVY SQUALL AT SEA
By Angus C Robertson
Wild-frouded clouds fly 'neath a frowning heaven,
By roaring tempest toss'd and swiftly riven:
The lightning plays in awful blinding flashes:
Then quickly follow pealing thunder crashes.
The sea is roaring as 'twould roar its last,
And flying foam, in sheets, are upward cast.
Now heeling o'er till on beam ends we lay,
And yards are dipping in the angry fray:
The deaf'ning tumult roaring in the ear,
We cannot act, we cannot see or hear.
The sails are rent and up and down the stays,
The sparks are flying in a wildering blaze.
Now out to windward, on the weather side,
We dearly cling to life and there abide,
Expecting every moment in the gloom
To see our good ship plunging to her doom.
As helpless we await the final plunge!
Our fate seems balanced on a fragile hinge.
Our chance seems hopeless, yet suspense is keen,
Amid the tumult and the deaf'ning din.
The squall at last is o'er, its fury spent.
But leaves us wrecked, with sails and cordage rent-
But worse than that: five seamen and a boy-
The latter , too, his mother's hope and joy-
Are lost forever ere the dawn of day
Amid the fury and the blinding spray.
JACK'S FIRST DAY ASHORE
AFTER A LONG VOYAGE
By Angus C Robertson
He danced and leapt for very joy,
Like some wild urchin with a toy
Dismissed from school, to romp and play,
Whose 'morrow is a holiday.
[Jack is another term for sailor]
By Angus C Robertson
Our way lay thro' a wooded wild,
Where we picked up a straying child,
Who 'scaped the perils of the deep
To lose his way on mountain steep.
THE OLD SEA DOG DAYS
By Angus C Robertson
My mind goes back to the good old days,
When I looked on steam with scorn,
To the stormy days and heavy gales
We encountered off Cape Horn.
It thrills my blood, when I hear once more,
The order to shorten sail,
The howlin winds like the cannon's roar,
As she rolls before the gale.
I see the slope of the slanting deck.
And I hear the cheering crew,
Thro' green seas plunging up to the neck,
Off Cape Horn when heaving to.
Ho! the wind doth moan thro' every shroud,
Singing the song of the sea,
Calling me far from the madding crowd,
Away where the wind blows free,
Yes far away from the smell of steam,
And clank of the racing screw,
To career along with th' wind abeam,
Or steer by the lifting clew.
As I keep my watch thro' storm and rain,
With only the helmsman nigh:
I sail each voyage over again
That I sailed in days gone by,
On the topsail yard, once more, ye-ho!
I'm fighting the flapping sail,
Which swells with the howling winds that blow
As we scud before the gale.
To the sailors' yarns I listen still,
As we proudly sail along:
Or now in the half deck laugh my fill,
While we sing a good old song.
Now tell me ye winds that howl and blow,
Ye wild-rolling billows say:
Ah! where did my dear old shipmates go,
So true, so gallant, and gay?
Did misfortune meet them thro' the gloom
Where the sea-fowl scream on high,
And where pealing thunders ever boom,
While the winds and ocean sigh?
No! some got on in the good old days,
Brave hearts wherever they be,
And I wish them luck in all their ways,
O'er winter or summer sea.
I fain would meet them, one and all,
Ere we reach the golden shore,
And as Tom Bowlin to pipe his call,
That we sail the seas no more,
I see her flying before the gale,
Like a frightened sea-fowl screaming,
I see her flapping and tattered sail
And the wildfire ever gleaming.
The roaring smother on both her sides
Is feathering, frothy, and foaming,
As up on the billows she swiftly rides,
Then downward careering and groaning.
She poops! she poops! a thundering wave,
That makes her quiver and tremble:
Now over her decks the billows rave,
Say-What does it all resemble?
A wild inferno of welt'ring foam,
Now eddying, twisting and twirling!
Her shiv'ring hulk doth shudder and groan
Beneath the tumult'ous swirling.
Some cling to the rigging to save their life,
While half the crew are a-missing,
And swimming amidst the weltering strife,
That is aye around them hissing.
The man at the wheel is washed away,
Poor lad is writhing with anguish,
As by the lee he drifts that day.
To tell it, I fail to find language.
She shakes herself from her watery grave,
And rudderless yaws to leeward,
It seems as if naught our ship could save,
As she broaches now to windward.
With oil bags towing over the side,
We're somewhat calming the ocean,
As o'er the mountainous seas we ride,
Admidst this seething commotion.
She rolls about in th' trough of the sea,
Till the masts go leeward flying,
Then the captain's wife looks up to me,
A sob in her voice with crying,
For an hour before her husband true,
Was fearfully bruised and battered:
He was washed away from 'midst the crew,
His head 'gainst the bulwarks shattered.
O! the good old ship is sinking fast,
Labouring, rolling, and straining:
While boats and rafts we leeward cast,
The water is on us gaining
As we get clear, and drift away
We pull as hard as we are able,
The good ship plunges 'neath the spray,
Distant three lengths of a cable,
"O! help me! help me!" hear ye the cry;
Loud wafting over the smother,
Ah! who with a heart could bear that cry?
"Twas a cry for "mother! mother!"
I plunged head-long thro' the swelling tide,
And to windward strongly swimming,
Till I reached the place with joyous pride,
Where the little girl was screaming.
Then leeward: swam with might and main,
Her arms to my neck fast clinging:
Me thought I could hear now and again,
Faint cheers from her mother ringing.
We drifted about for fourteen days,
And with shoals of sharks swarming round us;
O! it was trying, 'neath the scorching rays,
Till an ocean liner had found us,
Then steering our course for Ceylon's Isle,
We raised our voices to Heaven,
And thanked the Lord for His care and smile,
Who saved us when we were driven,
The girl was happy when last I heard,
With a family around her,
Married, they say, to a wealthy laird,
Who kissed her where he found her,
Now sing my boys, to the ship that goes,
And the lass that loves a sailor,
Then board thy tacks to the wind that blows,
And cheer Tom Tilot, the whaler,
We shall meet again across the tide,
Each happy and jolly rover,
Then o'er the bar we shall swiftly glide,
When our voyaging is over.
By Angus C Robertson
Long the sun hath gone to rest,
Dimmed is now the deepening west,
And the sky hath lost the hue
That the rich clouds o'er it threw.
Lonely on the pale-blue sky,
Gleam faint streaks of crimson dye,
Gloriously the evening star
Looks upon us from afar
Aid us o'er the changeful deep,
Oh ! God of power;
Bless the ocean toiler's sleep,
At midnight hour.
On the stilly gloaming air,
We would breathe our solemn prayer-
Bless the dear ones of our home,
Guide us o'er the surging foam.
To the light of those dear eyes,
Where our heart's best treasure lies,
To the love in one fond breast,
That unchanging home of rest !
Hear her! when at even tide
She kneels to pray,
That God would bless, defend, and guide
Those far away
Now the moon hath touched the sea,
And the waves all tremblingly,
Throw towards heaven their silvery spray,
Happy in the gladdening ray:
Thus Redeemer let thy love
Shine upon us from above.
Touched by thee our hearts will rise.
Grateful towards the glowing skies.
Guard us, shield us, Mighty Lord,
Thou do'st not sleep:
Still the tempest with thy word-
And rule the deep.
Angus Cameron Robertson
Dec. 2002. Pauline Robertson has kindly allowed poems written by her Great Grandfather to be posted on this web page. Thank you Pauline. This condensed biography was gleamed from the biography from the front of the book �Echoes from Beyond the Wave� by Angus Cameron Robertson, Mariner and author, printed in about 1910 in Dunedin, New Zealand. When they say the Bard they are referring to Angus Robertson.
The author of these few poems, and many others, was born in Broadford, Isle of Skye, in the County of Inverness, Scotland to Neil Robertson (of Straun) and Ann Cameron (the daughter of Angus Cameron, of the Lochiel clan) - were married in the Presbyterian Church, Broadford, Isle of Skye, by Rev. Dr. Donald MacKinnon, M.A., Strath. He (the Bard) is one of nine of a family. He ran away from Home, was only in the second standard, but even at that young age won a five pound prize for long distance swimming and in after years saved many a life from drowning. Some years afterwards he won nine prizes out of eleven athletic events on the Mydam in Calcutta, the same year his ship came to New Zealand where on a New Years Day. About that time he also trained at sea to wrestle and box, and became very dexterous in the use of the cutlass with either hand. He followed the sea for some seventeen years, ten of which were in sail and the other seven years in steamships. By grit and perseverance he worked himself up the position of chief officer in the first class sailing ships and steamships, as his papers, clearly testify. He holds first class certificates and testimonials for all his seafaring career. He landed in NZ as chief officer of a sailing ship in July 1899 with the previous understanding with his captain that he would be discharged in NZ.
On his arrival in Dunedin he went to see Captain Cameron, the late and highly respected Marine Superintendent of the Union Steam Ship Company, who was very pleased with his papers, and promised him the first vacancy should he wait for a while. But having waited in Dunedin for some three weeks without anything turning up, he went up to Otago Central with a number of young men to build gold dredges as a welcome change from such a long career at sea. Whilst here the South African war broke out, and he was among the first to volunteer to go to Africa with the first contingent, but, not being a horseman, could not get away. At the same time, he composed a poem to the New Zealanders who went to Africa, which appeared at that time in �Mount Benger Mail� and which, we believe was instrumental in sending a few more away. The Poem in question begins as follows:-
NEW ZEALAND FOR EVER !
Ye sons of New Zealand, march onward to fame,
Aspiring to glory, victorious thy name,
'Neath banner of Freedom, wherever it be,
On veldt, rocky mountains, or flying at sea, etc etc.,
After this he left Roxburgh and went up to Alexandra, where he procured employment in building, dismantling, and shifting dredges up and down the River Molyneux. It was here he met Mrs Robertson, who was at that time an officer in the Salvation Army. He has been for the last three or four years a citizen of Dunedin. His love for that beautiful city and its people is shown in his many fine poems about Dunedin. A verse from one we give hereunder:-
Here in the fading twilight angels pose,
And softly fan their wings o'er fern and rose;
Dunedin flourish ever fair and bright,
Effulgent with the glow of heavenly light.
He is Hon. Bard to the Gaelic Society of New Zealand, and an hon. member of the Dunedin Pipe Band, he is also a member of the Burns Club, Dunedin and a worthy member of the Masonic Order. Another poem of his entitled "King Edward the VII Funeral March. "
There is a modem craze for verse,
And some are better, some are worse,
But not all verses tell a tale.