Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Plight of the Crissie Wright

By TLCoston

From the Chesapeake, on New Year’s Eve,
 A three mast schooner heads out to sea
Laden with phosphate on a winter’s day
The Crissie Wright approached the Atlantic grave

Twenty below, the temperature dropped, gale winds brayed
Snow and sleet battered the ship along with icy waves
Beaufort Inlet, Captain Clark sought
When the main mast brace began to part

Rudderless, the Crissie Wright foundered off Shackelford Banks
There the vessel tossed about with each violent wave
“Lash yourselves men,” the Captain ordered
His voice barely audible above the winds howl

The deck and rigging covered in ice
Treacherous, each footing was a slide
The biting cold, assailed flesh and bone
Wrapped in sails they hid from being exposed

 On shore, residents looked on in horror
 As the sailors fought at deaths door
Bonfires they built; don’t despair
Take heart Crissie Wright, help will soon be there

Whalers and fishermen gathered their boats
Over the dunes they tried to launch
Ten feet high the ocean’s waves
Held the rescuers at bay

A loud pop was heard over the wind
The mizzenmast snapped and bent
A sailor was flung overboard
Later found handless, scalped and bound by rope

Merciless was this unrelenting storm
One by one, crew began to succumb
Two fell from their rigging into the boiling morass
Spectators, helpless, could only swear, cry and gasp

Finally, a break from the blizzards assault
The steamer Nellie B. Dey approached
One sailor was found barely alive
Badly frost bitten, he would survive

In Beaufort, they have a common grave
Locals still remember to this day
The plight of sailors and residents alike
The night the Atlantic claimed the Crissie Wright

No comments: