OLD IRONSIDES AT ANCHOR LAY

 

Words: George Morris†~ Music: B. Covert

 

Old Ironsides at anchor lay

In the harbor of Mahon;

A dead calm rested on the bay,

The waves to sleep had gone;

When little Jack, the captain's son,

With gallant hardihood

Climb'd deck and spar and then upon

The maintruck rose and stood.

 

A shudder ran through ev'ry vein,

All eyes were turn'd on high,

There stood the boy with dizzy brain,

Between the sea and sky.

No hold had he, above below,

Alone he stood in air,

At that far height none dar'd to go,

No aid could reach him there!

 

We gaz'd, but not a man could speak

With horror all aghast,

In groups, with pallid brow and cheek,

We watch'd the quiv'ring mast;

The atmosphere grew thick and hot,

And of a lurid hue,

As, riveted unto the spot,

Stood officers and crew.

 

The father came on deck - he gasp'd,

"Oh God! thy will be done!"

Then suddenly a rifle grasp'd

And aim'd it at his son;

"Jump far out, boy! into the wave!

Jump, or I fire,!" he said:

"That only chance your life can save!

Jump, jump boy!" -- He obey'd.

 

He sank, he rose, he liv'd, he mov'd.

He for the ship struck out!

On board we hail'd the lad belov'd,

With many and manly shout;

His father drew in silent joy

Those wet arms round his neck,

Then folded to his heart the boy,

And fainted on the deck!

 

The Captainís Clerk
1989, TGM