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Poem Written for the Launch of the Augusta, Sheringham's First Purpose Built Lifeboat, in 1838

by Anna Gurney

Come comrades, gather to the boat, the rocket line prepare
For many a gallant man tonight is battling despair.
The squall comes roaring onward, driving right across the sea,
And who's the craven that shall say "no call is there for me".

The sky is black, iced is the wreck, yet shrink not you aghast,
And think what they are feeling who are clinging to the mast.
The sturdy tiller of the soil can lend a hand or pair
And who has not hand to lend can bring an eye to bear.

All eyes to be on that glimmering line of lurid tossing foam
So he who will not now turn out, may bide henceforth at home.
The hands of mercy's sons are firm, their hearts are firmer still,
The Augusta mounts the billows for they pull with might and will;

Their craft is true and evermore to deeds of rescue braced,
She meekly bears the cherished name upon her quarter traced;
Oh lift up our hearts to Him who bade the storm subside,
Who in the water makes His path, who reins the foaming tide.

So may the God of heaven e'en now their earnest efforts bless,
May He who prospereth our way now give them good success.


Norfolk Poems





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