The Wreck of the Rodney

A Poem by Frank Brown©Frank Brown 1938

Sydney Harbour

One of Sydney's worst disasters,
With appalling loss of life,
When someone lost a mother,
Father, brother sister, wife.

They had boarded the ill-fated Rodney,
All feeling happy and gay,
As they farewelled the crew of the Louisville,
Bound on her homeward way.

All filled with joy and laughter,
With never a sign of gloom,
Next minute all were floundering,
And twenty souls went to their doom.

Our sympathy goes to those bereaved,
And those who waited in vain,
Longing for news of their loved ones,
Mid tears of anguish and pain.

Our praise to the gallant rescuers,
And those who endeavoured to save,
For many are the hearts that are thankful,
When they think of that watery grave.

Now most girls love a sailor,
Because he is jolly and free;
But we will find him a man when he's wanted,
And a hero he's proved to be.

When you think of those gallant seamen,
And all the dangers that they braved,
For thanks to the crew of that "Mercy Ship,"
Twenty-six souls were saved.

And when we think things over,
'Tis sad we must confess,
For many have lost a bread-winner,
And others are in dire distress.

So help swell the Lord's Mayor's Fund,
And extend it by leaps and bounds,
By sending your contributions,
Of Pennies and of pounds.

And think of Rudyard Kipling,
When he wrote of the Table Bay,
So pass the hat for your credit's sake,
And Pay ! Pay ! Pay !


Written in Penrith 1938, published in Frank Brown's book Engine 1174: And Other Verses, published in Enfield NSW in 1948

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