(Text based on M. C. Dean; possibly written by Henry Clay Work)
Up from the poor man’s cottage, forth from the mansion door,
Sweeping along the water, echoing along the shore,
Caught by the morning breezes, borne on the evening gale,
Came at the dawn of morning A sad and solemn wail.
Lost on the Lady Elgin, sleeping to wake no more,
Numb’ring in death five hundred that failed to reach the shore.
Sad was the wail of children, weeping for parents gone,
Children that slept at evening, orphans woe at morn.
Sisters for brothers weeping, husbands for missing wives,
These were the ties that were severed by those five hundred lives.
Staunch was the noble steamer, precious the freight she bore,
Gaily they loosed their cables a few short hours before.
Proudly she swept our harbor, joyfully rang the bell,
Little they thought that morning it would peal so sad a knell.