The Titanic Disaster Poem

On the cold and dark Atlantic, The night was growing late, Steamed the maiden ship Titanic, Crowded with human freight, She was valued at Ten Million. The grandest ever roamed the seas, Fitted complete to swim the ocean, When the rolling billows freeze.

She bade farewell to England, All dressed in robes in white, Going out to plow the briny deep, And was on her Western flight, She was now so swiftly gliding, In L Fifty and Fourteen, When the watchman viewed the monster, Just a mile from it, ‘Twas seen.

Warned by a German vessel, of an enemy just ahead, Of an Iceberg, that sea monster, That which the seaman dread. On steamed this great Titanic; She was in her swiftest flight; She was trying to break the record. On that fearful, fearful night.

Oh! she was plowing the Ocean, For speed by known before, But alas, she struck asunder, To last for ever more, A wireless message began to spread, Throughout the mighty deep, it said, “We have struck an iceberg, being delayed; Please rush to us with aid!”

The Captain, of the White Star Line, Who stood there in command, Was an admiral of seasoned mind, Enroute to the Western land. The Captain thought not of his life, But stood there to the last, And swimming saved a little child, As it came floating past.

Outstretched hand offered reward, For his brave and heroic deed, But the intrepid man went down aboard, Trying to rescue a passenger instead, This ill-starred giant of the sea, Was carried to his grave, On the last and greatest ship, was he, That ever cleft a wave.

Gay was the crew aboard this ship; Passengers large and small, They viewed the coming danger, They felt it one and all, On played the grand Orchestra, Their notes were soft and clear; They realized God’s power on land, On sea ’twas just as near.

So the played this glorious anthem, Continued on the sea, And repeated the beautiful chorus, “Nearer my God to thee.” Then silenced when the ship went down, Their notes were heard no more, Surely they’ll wear a starry crown, On that Celestial Shore.

Colonel Astor, a millionaire, scholarly and profound, Said to his wife, “I’ll meet you dear, Tomorrow in York Town.” His bride asked a seaman true, “Oh say! may husband go:” The echo came upon the blue, He answered, “he may, you know.”

This man rushed not to his seat, He seem to have no fear, Being calm, serene and discreet, Tendered it to a lady near, “Oh go, he said, my darling wife, Please be not in despair. Be of good cheer, as sure as life, I’ll meet you over there.”

J. H. Mc Kenzie 1912

My Reminiscences of the Anglo Boer War

On arrival at Glencoe Station I recieved a telegram from General Joubert informing me that he had defeated the enemy at Nicholson’s Neck near Ladysmith that day (October 30,1899) taking 1,300 prisoners, who would arrive at Glencoe the following morning. He desired me to conduct them to Pretoria under a strong escort. To conduct prisoners-of-war, taken by other burghers!

However, orders had to be obeyed, so I sent one of my officers with 40 men to take the prisoners to Pretoria, and reported to the Commandment-General by telegram that his order have been executed, also asking for instructions as to where I was to proceed with my commando. The reply I received was as follows:—

“Pitch your camp near Dundee, and maintain law and order in Province, also aid the Justice of the Peace in forwarding captured goods, ammunition, provisions, etc., to Pretoria, and see that you are not attacked a second time.”

On the 1st of November, 1899, we reached the main army near Ladysmith, and I went at once to tell General Joubert in person that my men wanted to fight, and not to play policemen in the rear of the army. Having given the order to dismount I proceeded to Joubert’s tent, walked in with as much boldness as I could muster, and saluted the General, who was fortunately alone. I at once opened my case, telling him how unfair it was to keep us in the rear, and that the burghers were loudly protesting against such treatment. This plea was generally used throughout the campaign when an officer required something to be granted him. At first the old General was very wrathful. He said I disobeyed his orders and that he had a mind to have me shot for breach of discipline. However, after much storming in his fine bass voice, he grew calmer, and in stentorian tones ordered me for the time being to join General Schalk Burger, who was operating near Lombard’s Kop in the siege of Ladysmith.

That same evening I arrived there with my commando and reported myself to General Burger. We pitched our tents on the same spot where a few days before General white and French had been defeated, and there awaited developments.

At this place the British, during the battle of Nicholson’s Nek, had hidden a large quantity of rifle and ammunition in a hole in the ground, covered it up with grass, which gave it the appearance of a heap of rubbish. One of the burghers who feared this would be injurious to the health of our men, set the grass on fire, and this son penetrated to the ammunition. A tremendous explosion occurred, and it seemed as if there were a real battle in progress. From all sides burghers dashed up on horseback to learn where the fighting was taking place. General Joubert sent an adjutant to enquirer whether the Johannesburgers were now killing each other for a change, and why I could not keep my men under better control. I asked this gentlemen to be kind enough to see for himself what was taking place, and to tell the Commandment-General that I could manage well enough to keep my men in order, but could not be aware of the exact spot where the enemy had chosen to hide their ammunition.