The Loss of the Cedar Grove

(The Cedar Grove)

Of late, a noble steamer, the Cedar Grove by name
Across the briny ocean, from London City came.
Whilst steering on one stormy night, too thick to see the land,
By some miscalculation near Canso she did strand.

The sailor at the helm he knew that he could tell
They were too near the shore, by the hearing of the swell.
He wished to give a warning, but he knew it not his place
For discipline it must be observed, whatever be the case.

The weather thick and stormy, the lookout at his post
The first he saw of danger it was breakers on the coast
The order it was given the engines to reverse
"Starboard your helm!" the captain cried, "Our ship is off her course!"

But straight toward the breakers our noble ship steered on
One moment more, a fearful crash brought fear to everyone
The engineers and firemen were hard to work below
And through their perseverance our ship did backward go.

And soon she gained deep water, and yet her doom was sealed
The briny flood rushed into her and then to port she keeled,
The heavy weight of water from for'ard it did go
Bursting into aft compartments, and down the ship did go.

The saddest of my story, and yet it doth remain
He had a lady passenger, Miss Farrel was her name;
To visit some relations in the city of St. John,
She ventured o'er the briny deep, but now she's dead and gone.

A sailor said he saw her in the companionway stand by;
It grieved his heart with pity to hear her mournful cry,
He offered to console her, and said, "You'll not get lost,"
But soon the tender maiden's form in the billows it was tossed.

Our steward he bravely held her all over the ship's side
A-waiting for a boat to pull up against the tide;
A heavy wave came rolling in which did release his grip
And soon the tender maiden went drifting from the ship.

That same sea took our captain and he was seen no more
Through heavy rain and darkness the boats still lingered near;
Two engineers were also lost --it was when the boat went down,
Their bodies and the lady's have never yet been found.

Our cargo being for Halifax and the city of St. John
And to the latter port the steamer did belong
She was well built on the banks of Clyde, two thousand tons or more
But her strength it proved of no avail on the Rocky Canso shore.

Oh, now the unlucky Cedar Grove to the bottom she does lie,
To save most of the cargo, the divers hard to try
A disfigured body was brought up and taken to the land,
Our brave and honored captain, who died all in command.

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