THREE POEM COMPOSED ON BOARD
THE MEROPE, 1875
Our sincer thanks to ???????? for sending us these poems.
Three verses composed by the Matron describing an incident on September 10th 1875 when the Merope almost struck an iceberg in the Southern Ocean. Note verses 15 thru 21 of the second poem for further details of this incident.
Up helm it was the Captains cry
As he sprang to help the man
To save us all they both did try
Describe the thoughts who can
At the rate of 6 knots an hour
The ship flew like the wind
Trembling trying with all power
To leave the danger behing (sic)
The watch was out in bed the rest
The time was half past three
When our friend above who rules best
Kept us from the bottom of the sea
10th of September 1875
Poem composed by Mrs Hoskins, emigrant (probably Mrs Jane Hosking, passenger in Single Womens with her Daughter Emily)
We left the fine old shores of
For to sail oer the deep blue sea
To find a home in New Zealand
A land that is far far away.
Our main mast is near 200 feet
Thirty five is the width of the deck
Her length os 200 and thirty
For so I have been told of late.
Sutherland is the name of our
A fine sturdy fellow is he
Twenty eight in number he manages
And the ship she is called Merope.
Our Doctor is a very nice man
And we like the three mates very well
And our crew is a fine jolly band
As ever sailed oer the swell.
I belong to the mess number one
With Clara and Emily and Sue
Then Lizzie and Polly comes on
With Agnes and Emily two. (sic)
We have often stood up by the
And watch the man work at the wheel
And heartily laughed when the ship
As turned us around with a reel.
Sometimes we have leaned on the
And looked on the grand blue sea
And watched the birds trailing behind
And the ships as they all pass away.
We sailed just round Bay of Biscay
When we had been out a few days
Our Captain he did not go through it
For he said twas a dangerous way.
For some weeks we had pleasant
And we used to go up on the poop
Where we walked or we chatted together
Sitting down on the coil of a rope.
But then we soon entered the
And so hot did the weather become
That we had to sit under the canvas
To hide ourselves out of the sun.
We was ordered below very early
Not later than seven o'clock
Then soon we grew weary and languid
For our room became fearfully hot.
But at last the cold weather set
With cold winds and rain it is true
With snow storms so dreadfully cold
That it seemed almost to pierce us all through.
And sometimes the sea rose so high
The waves dashed quite over our deck
Our hatches were all fastened down
With canvas to keep out the wet.
I have not much disaster to tell
For nothing particular went wrong
But one of our sails they got burnt
And a part of our bulwarks was gone.
One night we all went to our beds
And thought not of dangers so near
As morning dawned there was a squall
And the danger that fills us with fear.
I know twas the 10th of September
Eighteen hunderd and seventy five
The time I shall always remember
For tis a mercy that we are alive.
A sailor was walking the deck
Of the forecassel on the look out
When an iceberg was seen near the ship
But twenty yards was the shout.
Our Captain claimed we are lost
As he ran to the man at the wheel
And they gave such a hearty good pull
That made the ship tremble and reel.
The ship was going on very fast
16 miles in the hour we were told
If only two minutes had past (sic)
The crash would have been fearful and loud.
For a minute all voices were
For the men dare hardly draw their breath
As the iceberg passed on with a rush
So certain they all seemed of death.
But God in his merciful power
Who rules both the land and the sea
Kept the terrible berk (sic) while we passed
Like a train passing under a tree.
Butht eh danger is over we hope
We shall soon see the much looked for land
And when we look back we can say
It was God kept us safe by his hand.
So now we are looking around
For the rock that is called the Snare
And when we have gone beyond that
We hope very soon to be there.
For I am thankful to tell you dear
We are here altogether quite well
I hear there was only three babys (sic) we lost
And we know that in Heaven they dwell.
There was two little precious
For their parents to nourish and love
We hope they will train one for Heaven
For the other is taken above.
I hope we shall all meet above
For very soon hear we must part
Then all will be filled with Gods love
And harmony reign in our hearts.
Verse composed by Mr John Stone, an assisted immigrant with is wife and family. These lines also concern the iceberg incident.
Up helm is the shout from stern
Of the good ship Merope
In a squall on a misty morning
On the troubled southern sea.
Grim death seems almost certain
Of all in the ship I ?
For close athwart the starboard bow
An iceberg large is seen.
Up helm it is the sturdy tar
Puts forth his utmost strength
And oer 300 human lives
Were saved by a fingers length.