Home Site Map Back

Of all the dread calamities you ever yet did hear,
Either in history or story;
If pity is within your breast, you will shed a silent tear,
And mourn for those drowned, now in glory!
The 15th of January, that Tuesday afternoon,
Some hundreds on the ice took their station,
Young men and boys, in youth and bloom,
To the park went for healthy recreation.

But soon it gave way, more than 40 lost their lives,
The widows and poor orphans 'twill distress them;
God bless those gallant hearts, to save life did strive,
And those now in heaven,— God rest them.

'Twas near four o'clock, how dreadful to relate,
The ice it broke up in every quarter;
Two hundred then fell in, oh, what a sad fate,
All struggled for their lives in the water.
The cries of the people, as they stood upon the shore,
To witness such a scene most distressing,
Some clung to each other, but now are no more,
In grief are the friends of the missing.

What must have been the feelings of those standing by,
Unable to save and madly raving?
The woman rushed about, and bitterly did cry,
My children, my children, oh save them!
Wives calling to their husbands,—children, father dear,
But few that were able to assist them,
Now all will miss their own, for them shed a tier,
Kind fathers, the children will miss them.

They clung to the ice, until benumbed with cold,
The ice in their grasp broke asunder;
One lady on the shore, in grief did behold
Her husband, exhausted, go under;
Two sisters were screaming and calling for aid,
Their sorrow, poor girls, could not smother,
In anguish wrung their hands, and franticly said,
For God's sake save my poor brother.

The most mournful part remains to be told,
As the bodies to the dead-house were taken,
At the workhouse gate two thousand young and old,
The scene it was truly heart-breaking;
One body was owned by an old gentleman,
My son can't be dead, he said, while crying,
He left me but two hours, was strong and cheerful then,
For a father so old, it's very trying.

The doctors did their best in saving many lives,
Of those that were in this sad disaster;
Officials one and all, Mr Douglas and his wife,
Long life to that kind workhouse master.
A poor faithful dog saw his master disappear,
And never left the park since that evening,
No food will he take, by the water stays near,
For it's master the poor dog is grieving.

H. Disley, Printer, 57, High Street, St. Giles.