Franklin expedition, lancaster sound, hms terror, hms erebus
The grind of sugar in a stained tin cup Fingerless gloves on seized up hands, Slowly stirring, desperately hoping Wool on wood, tar on blood The agony of not knowing And the cold, cold night wind That heralds death upon us. Trapped by nature's Godless vice, At first out spirits knew no fear Hands kept turning, impatiently waiting, Clay pipe smoke, timber oak How one death can defeat us all And the cruel polar winds Say naught of life back home. Survival of the fittest or most insane Waiting for the next betrayal Engines seizing, groaning, wheezing Tinder for coal, save his soul! And the eyes of the men At the bomb vessel's heart, Mirror the arctic sky. What siren fate awaits us now, Ghost ships of Lancaster Sound? Natives baiting, sometimes trading, Fish and line, flour and brine Franklin's dead: vain Erebus Our duty now is to survive And so we make for the mainland. With heavy hearts we leave you now Pack ice will crush with clenched fist Madness creeping, lack of sleeping All alone in the great unknown Magnetic data with ship's logs To England with the will of God, From Terror unto terror.
© Severn Dwyer. 2009