May God Guard And Prosper England
(MacEdward Leach)

A youth of twenty years or more
Stood on the Florizel,
His mother who was standing near
Upon his broad chest fell;
"My darling son," she cried aloud,
"It grieves my heart full sore,
To think that I may never
In this world see you no more.

"You are my pride, my love and joy,
Since you I first caressed,
When a smiling babe I watched you
As you nestled on my breast;
I watched you as you quickly grew
To manhood's tall estate,
And wondered what the future
Had allotted for your fate.

"And he who looked upon you
With a fondness like my own,
Who loved you with a miser's care
Through all the years that's flown;
It's he, your father, on this day
Who weeps at your depart,
For you, my son, sincerely from
The warm depths of his heart.

"Like me when sickness touched you,
He watched you while you slept,
Like me he thought he'd lose you,
And he oft times o'er you wept;
But heaven has not willed it,
So though now you have to go,
To tread the fields of battle
Where there's many lying low."

The son gazed on that tender form,
Saying, "Mother, do not cry,
Keep up your hearts, some other day
You'll see your own dear boy;
My King and country calls me
And I cannot stay away,
So all I ask, dear Mother, now,
That for me you will pray.

"And tell my loving father
For me to do the same,
Tell him to have no fear for me,
His name I'll never shame;
So kiss me, darling Mother,
And ask God your son to bless,
And let me feel once more
Of your sweet loving caress."

The mother gave her son the kiss
And blessed him from the heart,
"Good-bye, dear boy, good-bye," she cried,
"And though we soon must part,
I give you freely to our King,
And God protect his laws,
And guard and prosper England
And her noble righteous cause."

####.... Author unknown. Traditional Newfoundland ballad ....####

Collected in 1951 from Mrs Michael R (Alice) Devereaux [1890-?] of Trepassey, NL, and published in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

From Wikipedia:
SS Florizel - a passenger liner, was the flagship of the Bowring Brothers' Red Cross Line of steamships and one of the first ships in the world specifically designed to navigate icy waters. During her last voyage, from St John's to Halifax and on to New York, she sank after striking a reef at Horn Head Point, Cape Race near Cappahayden, NL, with the loss of 94 including Betty Munn, a three-year-old girl, in whose memory a statue of Peter Pan was erected at Bowring Park in St John's.


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