The following poems were published in Donald C. Ringwald's The Mary Powell. We reproduce them here for your enjoyment.
SATURDAY EVENING LANDING OF THE MARY POWELL AT CORNWALL
The sun is setting in the Heaven,
The carriages all do flock
On this, the last day of the seven,
To Cornwall’s spacious dock.
The sight is goodly to the eyes;
The ladies’ costumes gay;
Horses of every color and size,
Brown, white, black and grey!
Team after team, in fine array,
Comes dashing down the hill,
Until you cry out in dismay,
“Why, what place can they fill?”
But hush! hush! hush! Hark! hear that bell?
How changed the busy scene;
All quickly to each other tell
The Mary Powell is seen!
Hark! what a change! See! all is still;
Eyes on the river meet!
Hearts all with expectation thrill,
Their loved ones soon to greet!
The grand old Highlands frowning down
Upon the Hudson blue!
The sunset’s brilliant, golden crown,
Makes up this lovely view.
Around the river’s graceful turn
The Powell appears in sight;
She seems the water’s aid to spurn,
She glides along so light.
How, like a swan, she proudly glides
Over the water’s clear!
The crowds that throng her ample side
Wave, for now she draws near.
Majestically, as if to rest,
At Cornwall now she stops;
Upon the noble Hudson’s breast
Reclines she by the dock.
Free waves her streamer on the wind;
She passes out of sight,
Leaving the merry scene behind
Her whistle cries, “Good Night!”
Husband and wife exchange embrace;
The mother, on the dock,
Gazing once more into her son’s face,
Finds all her fears forgot.
Joyfully little children press
Around their father dear,
Tell him their frolics, great and less,
With voices ringing clear!
Light, girlish forms, are flitting round,
And faces fresh and sweet,
By their admirers are found,
With welcome smiles to greet.
At last, in carriages and stage,
They are all closely stowed;
The horses willingly engage
To pull their merry load.
And winding slowly up the hill,
Bathed in the sunset’s light,
Their joyous voices the air fill,
As they pass out of sight.
- Julia Bayard Cummings, August 26, 1871
FAREWELL, THOU QUEEN
Farewell, thou Queen of the Hudson!
Tho’ thou wilt be gone
From those dear waters
That were to thee as home
Thou shalt not go
From the hearts that loved thee,
As a living thing.
But through shadows gray and ghostly
Methinks thy graceful form
Will speed all silently
Along the river’s quiet shores.
And in the evening softness
The silvery notes of thy clear-toned bell
Will call the echoes from the hills around.
- Attributed to a descendant of the Anderson family
Our Mary is going to leave us
If she’s not already gone
The vandals are going to scrap her
And leave us all forlorn.
No more will we hear her bell
In the early morn
When the welkin rings with music
Right after she’s blown her horn.
No more will little foot prints
Go pattering through the saloon
No more will little children’s pants
Go sliding down the stairs.
With sadness we will think of her
When she is torn apart
The eagle’s flight from the pilot house
Will almost break our hearts.
Goodby, dear Mary Powell
Your work was done so well
That surely if you had a soul,
It would find its place in heaven.
- John Bright, Esopus, NY
THE SWAN-SONG OF THE MARY POWELL
Good-by to the Mary Powell, to
The fast old river boat
That used to show a foaming wake
To everything afloat.
For she has reached her final dock,
And nevermore will glide
In white and swanlike grace upon
The Hudson’s silver side.
Oh, where the brooding Highlands throw
Deep shadows on the sheen
Of dancing waves, for many a year
We’ll miss the River Queen,
And long in fancy we shall hear
Her whistle’s cheery blast
In greeting to the rival boats
She sped so proudly past.
Her engine’s scrapped, her timbers wrecked,
Her funnels fallen, she
From Troy to New York City now
Is but a memory,
But half a century of brides
Who took the Hudson Rip
In sprays of withered orange flowers
Embalm the little ship.
- Minna Irving, in the New York Sun
HOW SAD TO NOW TAKE THIS BOAT APART
How sad to now take this boat apart.
Long has she waved on high.
And many an eye has been delighted to see,
Her sailing over the tide.
Around her were the traffic’s shout,
The deep, blue river’s roar.
The beauty of the Hudson,
Shall sail the tide no more.
She has serve the common public.
Served them long and well;
Like a beautiful furnished palace,
In a quiet, lowly dell.
Her career has been found faultless,
Her crew they were always true;
And never a life has she lost,
While she sailed the Hudson’s blue.
But at last she must be torn apart,
This boat with the wondrous pride,
That was called “The Queen of the Hudson,”
In days and years gone by.
So give her the praise that is due her,
Praise her for beauty and grace,
Praise her for safely carrying,
Her cargo of human race.
And let us always remember,
That Mary Powell was the name,
Of the boat that plied the Hudson,
The boat of beauty and fame.
None knew her but to admire her,
None knew her but to praise;
So we will think of her as anchored,
Safe in the distant haze.
- Mrs. Irving Jansen, Stone Ridge, N.Y.
THE OLD MARY POWELL LIES IN HER GRAVE
The old Mary Powell lies in her grave,
Stripped of all that made her beautiful and great,
Save the memory and the pleasure she gave,
To the millions that mourn her sad fate.
Mr. Junkman, handle her timbers with care,
We ne’er shall she her like afloat again;
Lay them aside with a sigh and a prayer,
And sing a song of the glory of her reign.
O, thou wondrous thing of beauty and grace,
Thou beloved “Queen of the Hudson,” without a peer;
None can hope to claim they crown nor place
In the hearts of those who hold thy memory dear.
- Almet S. Moffat, in the Home Country Magazine, February, 1924 (vol. 2, no. 7)
QUEEN OF THE HUDSON
O, Mary, dear old Mary, you too have passed away
To join the loving memories of a happy yesterday,
The faithful crew who worked on you are many gone before
You were their pride, their life, their pal
In the dear days of yore.
All spotless white, they named you right
You were the river’s “Queen”
Like a diamond sparkling from above
You shone far down the stream
Your decks with crowds were always bowed
Your service far renowned.
Though time may come and time may go
Your like can ne’er be found.
Your whistle stilled like a loving voice
Its echoes heard no more.
Have phantom hands reached out for you
From that eternal shore?
Though you’ve passed away like yesterday
In thoughts we will e’er be true
A wreath of tender memories
We dedicate to you.
- Florence A. Maines
Among the Hudson’s wondrous fleet
No vessel ever won such fame,
And carried through the passing years
Such widely known and honored name.
For many a year you filled the hearts
Of thousands here, both old and young,
And by thousands more your fame was known
Thru songs the poet’s lore has sung.
In days gone by the waiting throng,
On river docks along the shore,
Welcomed the sound of your silvery bell,
Which hailed your coming in sight once more.
Your wheels no more the waters churn,
The throbbing engine’s pulse is still,
The helm no longer guides your course
In answer to the pilot’s will.
Good-bye old boat, your work is done,
And now we shed the parting tear,
And pay a tribute here in prose,
To you, who all old friends hold dear.
- Fletcher DuBois, June, 1921, in A Memorial of the Mary Powell, 1862-1918.