The Ghost Of The Alpena Poem by Lone Dog

The Ghost Of The Alpena

(On Oct.15,1880, the Alpena vanished on Lake Michigan without a trace of her or the 97 people on board.)

The sky was a painter's palette afire with red and gold.
The lake was a fuelling mirror that fired the flames threefold.
The wind was a soothing whisper that hushed the dying day
As the steamship left the harbour,
The safety of the harbour,
The Alpena left the harbour and slowly sailed away.

From her home port of Muskegon to'rd a rendezvous with fate;
Chicago-bound and laden with passengers and freight;
A riverboat traversing a sea of massive might,
With her paddle wheels a-churning,
Her great side wheels a-churning,
Her oil lamps a-burning as she traveled through the night.

`Twas the Indian Summer season and the air was fresh and mild.
The lazy lake yawned gently and the wind slept like a child.
`Twas one-o-nine in the morning but within the next short hour
The pressure plunged severely,
The temperature dropped severely,
The planking creaked so queerly to the restless sea's great power.

Then the snow attacked in volleys as a gale boomed `cross her bow
The captain cursed and bellowed as he wiped his sweat-drenched brow.
The storm now surged with vengeance; its victim in its sight;
And the old steamship Alpena,
The storm-wracked old Alpena,
The riverboat Alpena then vanished in the night.

Without a trace she vanished; no passengers nor crew.
Not a trace of ghastly corpses nor debris that one could view.
Some say she haunts the sea-lanes; a phantom ship they swear;
With her paddle wheels a-churning,
Her great side wheels a-churning,
Her oil lamps a-burning on an endless voyage there.

And they say that when the evening's afire with red and gold;
When the lake's a fuelling mirror that fires the flames threefold;
When the wind's a soothing whisper that can hush the dying day
You can see her on the sea-lanes,
A ghost ship on the sea-lanes,
The Alpena haunts the sea-lanes then slowly fades away.

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