After The Fire Of '46 (James Murphy)

Arouse ye patriots of Newfoundland,
Now is the hour, "the tide's at flood;"
Remember your once happy Island,
Join hand in hand for your country's good;
Through fire and famine she distressed is,
Without a chance of help from home;
Her trade and fisheries depressed is,
With blasted hopes of days to come.

What, though St John's from out its ashes,
Must like another Phoenix rise;
In mansions that for beauty matches
The finest in the colonies;
Her merchants fail or stop their payments,
The general confidence is gone;
The wretched outport poor, bereavements,
Must call for help from you alone.

The cause of this distressing change is
A trust on the catch of fish alone;
But lapse of years at once presages,
That trust will be upheld by none;
The poor man now must act the farmer,
Must guide his plough and wield the flail;
And may all natives long remember
What 'twas that caused their country's wail.

Then rouse ye natives of Newfoundland,
Now is the hour, "the tide's at flood;"
To open farms throughout the Island
Must be for your country's good;
Conduct the fisheries and farming
And ye will independent be;
The present change, although alarming,
May make ye happy as ye are free.

####.... Anonymous. Traditional Newfoundland ballad ....####
Printed in St John's in 1912 on p.3 of Old Songs Of Newfoundland published by James Murphy [1867-1931].

James Murphy's Publisher's Notes:
This song was written two years after the great fire of June, 1846 - St John's was totally consumed on that occasion. The poem is patriotic and should be impressed on the minds of all true natives of Terra Nova. It is the production of an anonymous outport bard, and first appreared in 1848 in the Morning Post and Shipping Gazette, editor, publisher, and proprietor: William J Ward (1846-1862).

From Wikipedia:
The Great Fire of 1846 occurred in St John's, Newfoundland, a colony of the United Kingdom on 9 Jun 1846. The fire started at the shop of a cabinetmaker named Hamlin, located on George off Queen Street, when a glue pot boiled over. The fire killed an artilleryman and two civilians and burned large portions of the town, including burning all but one mercantile warehouse in the river area.


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