The Eyemouth Disaster - Poem by Angela Wybrow
About the weather, they had been warned,
But still they sailed at the crack of dawn.
They were not fuelled by human greed,
But by their families desperate need.
The boats, they set out from various ports:
‘Twas ‘silver darlings’ these fishermen sought.
But by midday, they were caught in the jaws
Of the storm, which fought them tooth and claw.
It had started out as a gentle sea breeze,
But suddenly it whipped up a fearful sea.
Almighty great waves began to rise,
And fishing boats began to capsize.
Upon the rocks, some boats were dashed,
As, all around them, the waves rose and crashed.
Upon the quayside, their bairns and their wives
Watched their men-folk fight for their lives.
Tossed about at the mercy of the waves,
Crewmen headed for a watery grave.
Attempts to help the men would have failed -
Such was the force of the sea and the gale.
Helplessly they watched their men-folk drown,
As the wild wind blew and the rain poured down.
Their healthy complexion now visibly paling,
The fishermen’s wives were soon weeping and wailing.
They could not believe what they were seeing -
And grief soon devoured their very being.
Some of the women left were with child;
With grief, they became hysterically wild.
That day, one hundred and eighty nine
Lives were lost in the silvery brine.
Many families were so very hard hit
In this coastal community, so very tight-knit.
Many a woman lost both husband and son
On that fateful day of eighteen hundred and eighty one.
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