Charles Gustavus Anderson

(Charles Augustus Anderson)

Now, Charles Gus-ta-vus An-der-son is my right and proper name.
Although I lie in cus-to-dy, I'll ne'er deny the same.
I was raised by hodn-est par-ents, although I die in scorn.
Oh, Bud-lieve me, now I much lament the hour that I was born!

Now my father was a shipwright; I might have been the same.
He taught me good examples, on him I lay no blame.
And for my poor old mother, for me she has wept sore.
Whedn she hears of my misfortune she cadn but grieve the more.

From Songs of the Sailor and Lumberman by William Main Doerflinger (1951, '72, '91)

Come all you humane countrymen, with pity lend an ear
And hear my mournful story; you can't but shed a tear.
I'm here in close confinement, I'm bound in fetters strong,
Surrounded by strong granite walls and sentenced to be hung.

Charles Gustavus Anderson is my right and proper name.
Since I have been in custody I've ne'er denied the same.
I came from decent parents although I die in scorn.
Believe me, now I much lament that ever I was born.

It was my sad misfortune that brought me to this place
To die an ignominious death, my parents to disgrace.
With sorrow when we parted their hearts were pierced through.
Their sorrows were not warned away before they will renew.

My father was a shipwright; I might have been the same.
He taught me good example, to him I lay no blame.
Likewise my tender mother, who for me suffered sore.
When she hears this sad announcement I'm sure she'll suffer more.

Oh, dear and loving mother, could I but see your face,
I'd kiss your lips of tenderness and take my last embrace.
I'd bathe you in my tears of grief before my final hour,
Then I'd submit my soul to God, to His holy will and power.

Brothers and sisters all, adieu, so near and dear to me,
So far beyond the ocean, whose faces I ne'er shall see.
The happy days I've spent with you all on my native shore!
Farewell, sweet Udavalla, I ne'er shall see you more.

If I could recall my days again! And happy I would be
To live at home among my friends in love and unity.
When I think on former innocence and those I left behind,
'Tis God and only Him that knows the horrors of my mind.

There's no book of consolation here that I can read.
I profess the Church of England, by nation I'm a Swede.
Those words that are addressed to me I can't well understand.
I must die like a heathen here in a foreign land.

It was near the town of Guttenberg where I was bred and born.
Here in the city of Halifax I'll end my days in scorn.
Pity my sad misfortune and a warning take by me:
Shun all evil company and beware of mutiny.

I shipped on board the Saladin as you may understand.
She was bound to Valparaiso, Mackenzie in command.
We arrived there in safety without the least delay,
When Fielding came aboard of us, curse on the fatal day!

It was him that had seduced us to do the horrid crime,
Although we might [have] prevented it had we begun in time.
We have shed the blood of innocence, the same we don't deny,
And stained our hands in human blood, for which we have to die.

Oh God, I fear Your vengeance, Your judgments much I dread,
To stand before Your judgment seat, my hands all viewed [imbued?] in blood.
I deserve Your indignation, Your pardon still I crave.
Oh Lord, have mercy on my soul beyond the gloomy grave!

The sheriff and his officers all came to him in jail;
He knew the awful message well, but never seemed to fail.
They placed his fatal halter on, to end all shame and strife;
With his own hands he greased the cord that cut the thread of life.

He was led up to the gibbet, placed on the fatal stand;
He viewed the briny ocean and then the pleasant land.
The rope adjusted through the ring, which quickly stopped his breath.
Thus ended his career in the violent jaws of death.

From Songs of the Sailor and Lumberman by William Main Doerflinger (1951, '72, '91)