An emigrant ship, the 'Northfleet ' by name,
To Hobart town bound, fronm London she came,
Crowded with labourers and their families
Without any warning were engulphed in the seas.
The night it was clear, our lamps burning bright,
Away in the distance shone Dungeness light ;
Three miles from shore the doomed ship lay,
Little they thought, she'd ne'er see the next day.
CHORUS: No one to help them, friendless, alone,
In the wild waters they struggle and moan ;
Fathers and mothers and children are there,
The murd'ring ship left them without heeding their prayer.
Over four hundred poor souls were aboard,
Sons of hard toil they were going abroad,
To make some money for mothers or wives,
But on the wild ocean they have lost their lives
For just as all hands were nearly in bed
A shock like the thunder filled us with dread ;
A strange ship out through us on the starboard beam,
Then shamefully left us under full steam.
My God ! do not leave us, the look-out did cry
Four hundred poor souls in the waters to die
But the ruffians to hide their disgrace and shame,
Spread out some canvass to hide the ship's name.
All hands to the pumps, was the boatswain's cry,
They could do no good, it was useless to try
Then came the seeking Of husbands and wives,
Some for themselves, but each for their lives.
Brave Captain Knowles he stood to his task,
To save his young bride was all he did ask,
For women and children he pleaded in vain,
Each one tried their best the small-boats to gain
To make an example mate Biddles he shot,
Against his strict orders in the boat he got,
To stop the mad throng he tried, but in vain,
Farewell my dear wife ! I'll ne'er see thee again.
She is sinking fast, in terror they cry,
Some kneel down to pray, some crouch down to die
One shivering plunge and she sinks to heir grave,
Fourteen fathoms down below the dark wave.
The shrieks they were awful, all was despair,
They prayed for God's help, but no help was there
But a small few that clung to her poles,
Was saved on that ship may God rest their souls,