First line 'A braver man that (sic) Captain Knowles, ne'er set a ship in motion'
A braver man that (sic) Captain Knowles, ne'er set a ship in motion, -
The captain of the "Norhtfleet" who sailed the briny ocean,
In peaceful slumber for the night this emigrant vessel lay, -
With o'er four hundred souls on board, no listen to my lay,-
When up a foreign steamer with a coward captain came,
And struck her 'tween her mid-ships and rent the ship in twain,
"Lower the boats, ye mariners and for all mercy pray,
God bless and speed you safe to land" I heard the Captain say.
Chorus: Goodbye, dear wife, dearer than life,
Put trust in heaven's high hand.
Good boatswain save from a watery grave -
God speed you safe to land.
Yes, her name it was the "Northfleet", and bore, as we are told,
Three hundred British working men - of value more than gold -
Brave men who left their native land to till of foreign soil;
Poor honest hearts to earn their bread by daily sweat and toil.
Then read the poor wife's story, - for on that fatal night,
When all on board were fast asleep, (god heavens can that be right,
A fearful crash ! All souls did rush upon the deck to pray:
Yet calm and good, the captain stood, and this I heard him say, -
The ship was sinking rapidly, when passengers and tars,
And men and wives and children were seen clinging to broken spars¹;
And mighty waves rolled over them, as they prayed in frenzy wild,
The Captain's voice rang through the air, - "Save that poor wretch and child"!
But all was o'er; three hundred souls no human power could save,
Heart-rending sight as each good-bye skimmed o'er the mighty wave,
The noble Captain then went down, as the boats drifted away,
His beeath (sic), in whispered, reached us, when I thought I heard him say.