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We Can Mind the Time
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World War Two

Sacred to the memory of Robert, Thomas, William and John Smailes, who were lost at sea off Craster

Four brothers passed away, two by two from their home,
Away, over the billows of the sea to roam:

They left their humble sweet fireside,
The boast of an Englishman, and his pride:

Where the gentle voice of the loved one’s heard,
More sweet than the song of the early bird:

Where the gentle tones of the young one's voice,
Maketh the fond father's heart rejoice:

Though his labour's severe, and his fare be hard,
In the sweets of their prattle he finds his reward:

If there is a spot in the wide worlds round,
It is there where the job of the heart is found:

No place or no clime, wherever you may roam,
Is half as dear as an Englishman’s home:

When they reached the place of the waters deep,
Where the finny tribe in their gambols leap:

When all was secured, and nighted the gear,
Preparation was made for their home to steer:

No storm on the waters that morning was found,
And the jest and the laugh went merrily round:

The future to man it is not revealed,
That portion of life, to mortals is sealed:

If not, who could bear the grief and the sorrow,
That oft lies hid to be known on the morrow?

Then the word was given to hoist the sail,
For to catch the breeze of the freshening gale:

The sail was set, and all things went well,
As pleasant and sweet as the marriage bell:

No fear of danger from death’s cold dart,
Each cheered his mate with a merry heart:

They mounted aloft in the toppling wave,
Then down in the trough like an open grave:

When a whirl was born on the ocean breeze,
And these poor lads were capsized in the seas:

The wind it freshened and the waves rushed past,
As these poor fellows on the seas were cast:

Did you hear that wail that came from each brother
as they cried, in their agony, "Mother, oh mother?”

A cry of horror then went over the wave,
Oh, for an arm in that hour to save:

Yet no doubt one prayer, in true faith was given,
As they each one muttered "Have mercy, heaven:”

Their bodies now lie far down in the deep,
Silent and still, by the waves rocked to sleep:

And the fireside joy is turned to a wail,
For earth's fond love cannot now avail:

The sweet green hills of their native shore,
The which they shall never; no never, see more:

They lie where the monsters of ocean meet,
No coffin is theirs, or a winding sheet:

Each in the courage and strength of life,
Went struggling down in that fearful strife:

Oh, God send thou down thy spirit's aid,
To those that in misery now are laid:

Bereaved and each Earthly comfort gone,
Oh leave them, oh leave them, not alone:

Guide them in peace with thy mighty hand,
Unto yon glorious and happy land:

May they all meet on that heavenly shore,
Where death, pain or partings are never known more.

Back to the page about the tragedies

A Craster Panorama

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