This poem about the Royal Charter disaster is printed at the back of An Authentic Account if the Wreck of the Royal Charter Sream Clipper on her passage from Australia to Liverpool , October 26th 1859 with an Interesting Additoion of Subsequent Events and Incidents Written During a Residence at Moelfra, the Scene of the Catastrophe (Dublin 1860.) The poem was inspired by an account of the finding of a gold ring on the beach at Moelfra 'by one of the peasants living in the vicinity of the wreck.' With help from the local vicar the ring was restored to the father of the drowned owner - a Mr. Corry Fowler of Dublin. The ring had been worn by his son in memory of his departed sister whose name was inscribed on it. The poem is by a niece.
Lines on a Ring cast on shore five months after the wreck of the Royal Charter.
|Parish Church of St Gallgo with the
Fowler tomb in the foreground**
Five moons the raging sea retained,
Within its secret hold,
This ring, the sad and sacred type
Of mourning manifold.
This ring, that to a brother's love,
A sister's death declared,
Returneth, crying from the deep –
"Woe! Woe! He hath not spared!"
Oh ring of mourning, ring of Fate
In what unfathomed scene
Of horror unexplor'd and dark
Hast thou mute witness been?
That has been where the hidden dead
Repose beneath the sea,
Nought fearful, or soul-harrowing
Is there unknown to thee.
Oh sea! we bade thee not restore
Our jewels, or our gold;
We ask'd of thee a greater debt –
The lives within thy hold.
In vain, in vain, oh ruthless sea!
In vain our arms we spread,
And prayed thee for our lov'd ones
Thou gavest us us our dead.
Yet not in vain, from thee, sad sea,
This precious gift is riven,
Imparting hope – to us who weep –
That we may meet in heaven.
JANE FOWLER JONES