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The Wreck of the Barque Lynton

William Topaz McGonagall 1825 – 1902 (Greyfriars Parish, Edinburgh)

A sad tale of the sea, I will unfold,
About Mrs Lingard, that Heroine bold;
Who struggled hard in the midst of the hurricane wild,
To save herself from being drowned, and her darling child.

'Twas on the 8th of September, the Barque "Lynton" sailed for Aspinwall,
And the crew on board, numbered thirteen in all;
And the weather at the time, was really very fine,
On the morning that the ill-fated vessel left the Tyne.

And on the 19th of November, they hove in sight of Aspinwall,
But little did they think there was going to be a squall;
When all on a sudden, the sea came rolling in,
And a sound was heard in the heavens, of a rather peculiar din.

Then the vivid lightning played around them, and the thunder did roar,
And the rain came pouring down, and lashed the barque all o'er;
Then the Captain's Wife and Children were ordered below,
And every one on board began to run to and fro.

Then the hurricane in all its fury, burst upon them,
And the sea in its madness, washed the deck from stem to stem;
And the rain poured in torrents, and the waves seemed mountains high,
Then all on board the barque, to God for help, did loudly cry.

And still the wind blew furiously, and the darkness was intense,
Which filled the hearts of the crew with great suspense,
Then the ill-fated vessel struck, and began to settle down,
Then the poor creatures cried. God save us, or else we'll drown!

Then Mrs Lingard snatched to her breast, her darling child,
While loudly roared the thunder, and the hurricane wild;
And she cried, oh! God of heaven, save me and my darling child,
Or else we'll perish in the hurricane wild.

'Twas then the vessel turned right over, and they were immersed in the sea,
Still the poor souls struggled hard to save their lives, most heroically;
And everyone succeeded in catching hold of the keel garboard streak,
While with cold and fright, their hearts were like to break.

Not a word or a shriek came from Mrs Lingard, the Captain's wife,
While she pressed her child to her bosom, as dear she loved her life;
Still the water dashed over them again and again,
And about one o'clock, the boy, Hall, began to complain.

Then Mrs Lingard put his cold hands into her bosom,
To warm them because with cold he was almost frozen,
And at the same time clasping her child Hilda to her breast,
While the poor boy Hall closely to her prest.

And there the poor creatures lay huddled together with fear,
And the weary night seemed to them more like a year,
And they saw the natives kindling fires on the shore,
To frighten wild animals away, that had begun to roar.

Still the big waves broke over them, which caused them to exclaim,
Oh! God, do thou save us for we are suffering pain;
But, alas, the prayers they uttered were all in vain,
Because the boy Hall and Jonson were swept from the wreck and never rose again.

Then bit by bit the vessel broke up, and Norberg was swept away,
Which filled the rest of the survivors hearts with great dismay;
But at length the longed for morning dawned at last,
Still with hair streaming in the wind, Mrs Lingard to the wreck held fast.

Then Captain Lingard still held on with Lucy in his arms,
Endeavouring to pacify the child from the storms alarms;
And at last the poor child's spirits began to sink,
And she cried in pitiful accents, papa! papa! give me a drink.

And in blank amazement the Captain looked all round about,
And he cried Lucy dear I cannot find you a drink I doubt,
Unless my child God sends it to you,
Then he sank crying Lucy, my dear child, and wife, adieu! adieu!

'Twas then a big wave swept Lucy and the Carpenter away,
Which filled Mrs Lingard's heart with great dismay,
And she cried Mr Jonson my dear husband and child are gone,
But still she held to the wreck while the big waves rolled on.

For about 38 hours they suffered on the wreck,
At length they saw a little boat which seemed like a speck,
Making towards them on the top of a wave,
Buffetting with the billows fearlessly and brave.

And when the boat to them drew near,
Poor souls they gave a feeble cheer,
While the hurricane blew loud and wild,
Yet the crew succeeded in saving Mrs Lingard and her child.

Also, the Steward and two sailors named Christophers and Eversen,
Able-bodied and expert brave seamen.
And they were all taken to a French Doctor's and attended to,
And they caught the yellow fever, but the Lord brought them through.

And on the 6th of December they embarked on board the ship Moselle,
All in high spirits, and in health v
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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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William Topaz McGonagall

William Topaz McGonagall (March 1825 – 29 September 1902) was an Irish weaver, poet and actor who lived in Scotland. He won notoriety as an extremely bad poet who exhibited no recognition of, or concern for, his peers' opinions of his work. He wrote about 200 poems, including "The Tay Bridge Disaster" and "The Famous Tay Whale", which are widely regarded as some of the worst in English literature. Groups throughout Scotland engaged him to make recitations from his work, and contemporary descriptions of these performances indicate that many listeners were appreciating McGonagall's skill as a comic music hall character. Collections of his verse remain popular, with several volumes available today. McGonagall has been lampooned as the worst poet in British history. The chief criticisms are that he was deaf to poetic metaphor and unable to scan correctly. His only apparent understanding of poetry was his belief that it needed to rhyme. McGonagall's fame stems from the humorous effects these shortcomings are considered to generate in his work. Scholars argue that his inappropriate rhythms, weak vocabulary, and ill-advised imagery combine to make his work amongst the most unintentionally amusing dramatic poetry in the English language. His work is in a long tradition of narrative ballads and verse written and published about great events and tragedies, and widely circulated among the local population as handbills. In an age before radio and television, their voice was one way of communicating important news to an avid public. more…

All William Topaz McGonagall poems | William Topaz McGonagall Books

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