The Donzella and the Ceylon

'Twas on the first of February from Lunenburg we set sail.
Kind heaven did reward us with a fair and pleasant gale.
We left the torn of Lunenburg so early in the morn,
And side by side we sailed away, the Donzella and Ceylon.

And looking out to leeward, a schooner we did spy.
"It is the Lizzie Wharton!" our captain he did cry.
Our captain is a Western man, to Cape Negro he belongs,
And that's our mate from Lockeport, boys, by the name of Thomas Brown.

Our cook we shipped at Lunenburg, from Port Medway he came;
There are three others of our crew, you well do know each name.
"Our hull and rigging are both good," our officers did say.
"We'll run aloft our stays'l, the Donzella we will try!"

The second night from home, lads, the wind did loudly blow.
At four o'clock in the morning away our jib did go.
Our captain he then came on deck and said to us, his men,
"Take in that piece of jib, my lads! The storms'l we will bend!"

Fourteen days from home, my lads, in Ponce, Porto Ric', we lay.
Our captain he then came on board and unto us did say,
"We are the first in here, my boys! Now for a hearty cheer!"
But in ten hours afterwards, the Donzella did appear.

We finished our outward cargo on the sixteenth day.
Our captain he then came on board and unto us did say,
"Our cargo is molasses, boys, for Boston, so I hear.
We'll take it on board quick again and for the north we'll steer."

We left the port of Ponce, my boys, with a fair and pleasant gale,
Our little mate did loudly shout, "Hoist up those lofty sails!"
The Ceylon is as fast a boat as ever crossed the main,
Our Captain is a plucky man by the name of Charlie Swain.

After leaving Ponce we headed north, the breeze being fairly strong;
With all sail set under sunny skies the Ceylon stormed along.
The wind then increased very sharp, we quickly shortened sail.
I then heard Captain Swain remark, "Prepare for a heavy gale."

The wind now blew a hurricane, we set our reefed stormsail;
The next ten hours we lay hove to in a vicious Gulf Stream gale.
We head-reached under double reefs six dreary days or more.
The wind decreased, with rising glass, we knew the gale was o'er.

Next morning, boys, as we arose, the sun shone bright and clear.
We shook out our close reefs, for South Channel we did street.
Our good ship speeded onward to the port that we were bound,
But to our sad misfortunate the wind did haul around.

That night it was a terrible one as you will understand;
The lightning flashed, the thunder rolled, another gale on hand.
At four o'clock in the morning our ship we did heave to;
For twenty-four long hours the wind did loudly blow.

Our food and water now being short we were distressed at sea,
Our run being up for Shelburne, but land we could not see.
"God knows what will become of us," our officers did say.
"We surely will be lost on shore or we'll be starved at sea."

[It was?] on the twenty-eighth of March, as you will understand,
With main boom broke and foremast sprung by chance we made the land.
The land looked very strange to us, for it we did not know,
It proved Cape Breton Island, a place called Point Michaud.

We drifted now toward the point, where breakers loud did roar;
We let go the both anchors, for we could do no more.
The cables snapped, the Ceylon struck, a crashing, shivering shock.
We safely got in our lifeboat and reached St. Peter's Lock.

Attribution: Daniel Smith, steward of the Ceylon