The Ship That Never Returned

Melody - Henry Clay Work, a later arrangement

Henry Clay Work ~ 1865

On a summer's day,
When the wave was rippled
By the softest gentlest breeze,
Did a ship set sail
With a cargo laden
For a port beyond the seas.
There were sweet farewells
There were loving signals
While a form was yet discerned;
Though they knew it not,
'twas a solemn parting
For the ship, she never returned.

Did she never return?
She never returned,
Her fate, it is yet unlearned,
Though for years and years
There were fond ones watching,
Yet the ship she never returned.

2. Said a feeble lad
To his anxious mother,"
I must cross the wide, wide sea,
For they say, perchance
In a foreign climate,
There is health and strength for me."
'Twas a gleam of hope
In a maze of danger
And her heart for her youngest yearned,
Yet she sent him forth
With a smile and blessing
On the ship that never returned.

3. "Only one more trip",
Said a gallant seaman,
As he kissed his weeping wife,
Only one more purse
Of that golden treasure
And 'twill last us all through life.
Then I'll spend my days
In my cozy cottage
And enjoy the rest I've earned;
But alas! poor man!
For he sail'd commander
Of the ship that never returned.