THE LIFE SAVING MEN
Written by an unknown Rockland Sea Captain
Rockland Courier Gazette, August 20, 1889
'Tis a winter night on the coast of Maine
And the sky looks leaden and gray,
While the snow is whirled by the cold east wind,
Which chills everything in its way.
The surf beats high on the ragged rocks
And the winds through the spruce trees moan,
And the sea gull screams as down he looks
Through the storm, which is coming on.
And the fisherman sighs as he tries to look
Through the blinding snow and spray.
And he says to his mate, 'Twill be a bitter night
For any ship to be caught in the bay.
While the Life Saving Men look out with alarm
As they note the barometer's warning.
And the captain says, "Boys be careful tonight
For I fear we'll have work before morning."
But brave men are they, and no warning they need
As they travel their wild lonely beat.
And they heed not the snow, which whirls round their head
Nor the surf, which rolls up at their feet.
And so night settles down, and the darkness comes on
And in clouds is the starlight lost.
And far out on the sea, hid from sight by the snow,
A ship on the billows is tossed.
And the night it grows darker, and the storm rages harder
As her crew numb with cold, and with faces so pale,
Hear the words passed along through the wild raging storm,
"Call all hands! We must shorten our sail!"
And sail after sail, they clew up and furl
As they work through the cold winter storm.
And think of their homes, which are almost in sight
While they silently pray for the dawn.
But the snow it grows thicker, while the gale waxes stronger.
While their sails have been all taken in
Until nothing is left, except a storm sail
Just to keep her head up to the wind.
So she drifts through the night in that pitiless storm
Tossed about by the wild foaming sea,
'Till at just twelve o'clock, there went up a cry,
"There are breakers, close under our lee!"
Then a wild cry rose from the deck of the ship,
Piercing far through the pitiless storm
As the sharp cruel rocks crash through her strong sides,
While her timbers to atoms are torn.
But the Life Saving Men have seen her dark hull
Looming up through the darkness and storm.
Then a signal they burn, 'tis a beacon of joy
To a crew, from whom all hope had gone.
And they worked through the storm all that long dreary night.
Those Life Saving Men, true and brave,
And when morning had dawned, naught is left of the ship
But the crew - every man had been saved.
Then a message goes out from that storm beaten coast
And flashes far over the nation.
A ship has been lost but the crew are all saved,
And safe at the Life Saving Station.
Then all honor and praise to those brave, noble men
Who risk their lives, and all danger dare.
Men will cheer them, wives will bless them,
Mothers remember them in your prayer.
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