The Last Voyage of the Barque Pamir
White sails billowing in the wind,
   soft pillows in a deep blue sky,
     the barque Pamir stood out to sea,
       and the people waved good-bye.
A grand old lady, was the Pamir,
   majestic remnant of the past,
     when ships were wood, and men were iron,
       when both would last and last.
Four masts rose up majestically,
   one hundred fifty feet or so,
     a tall ship was the barque Pamir,
       'twas the wind took her to and fro.
Homeward bound from the Argentines,
   north by northeast her course did run.
     She left behind the southern cross,
       and the warm equator sun.
Below her decks, the holds were filled,
   wheat and grain from Argentines,
     a working training ship was she,
       where they learned to haul the lines.
A northeast wind began to blow,
   cross the deck of the barque Pamir,
     cadets and crew, mustered on deck,
       but none showed a sign of fear.
The warm blue sea turned cold and gray,
   a heavy rain began to fall.
     They furled some sail in pounding seas,
       as Pamir began to roll.
Six hundred miles the Azores lay,
   east to the Azores they did steer,
     they turned her bow into the waves,
       turned her to the storm so near.
Wave after wave broke o'er her bow,
   and the wind pushed her hard a lee,
     her silken shrouds starting to tear,
       now at mercy of the sea.
The crew hurled curses to the wind,
   and spat their anger to the sea,
     they challenged all the elements,
       "Come do your worst to me."
And so the sailor's dance began,
   by the wind and wave and the sea,
     in the morn, somewhere, the sun'd shine,
       but where would Pamir be?
The mainmast was the first to go,
   in the crash of thundering wave,
     along with it took fifteen lads,
       into a watery grave.
The mizzen mast crashed on the deck,
   and the rudder cable was sheared,
     slowly turned broadside to the waves,
       no more could she be steered.
And still her crew of men and boys,
   battled to bring her back upright,
     against the overwhelming odds,
       would not give up the fight.
Wild howled the wind, wild crashed the waves,
   against that valiant stricken ship,
     and like her crew she too fought on,
       and loosened that fearsome grip.
With shattered masts and sails in shreds,
   still the sea could not pull her down,
     her beauty gone, but not her pride,
       Pamir too fought on and on.
The seas died down and stars appeared,
   and hope broke through the lonely night,
     from fifty tongues a shout rang out,
       they had almost won the fight.
Then came a cry from deep within,
   and from the sea one final roar,
     forty feet high of killer wave,
       and the Pamir fought no more.
Some say they should have furled her sail,
   some say it was the hurricane,
     what may have been now matters not
       for Pamir 'll nee'r sail again.
Rolf Ritschel
(c) 2001 All rights reserved
The Captain of Pamir
The sky is getting darker,
   Waves, they're higher than before
     We're on our way to Africa
       Wish that we were near the shore
It's a southern course we're taking here
   And the stormy season's here
     And the greatest storm, the hurricane
       Is the one that sailors fear
Wind is whistling through the rigging
   Waves are pushing us off course
     You young apprentice seamen
       Now! You'll feel the ocean's force
I've sailed though these many times
   On barks much less than this
     And came out to sail again
       Avoiding death's cold briny kiss
Take heart my little seamen
   Work hard. Ask God's help too
     There is no draw, you've got to win
       Or else she will beat you
So batten down the hatches boys
   Make everything secure
     Do all things right that you've been taught
       And we'll come out for sure
So harken to me sailors
   For I'm in charge out here
     And I'll do my best
       To bring you through
...I'm the captain of Pamir
Vincent Dubrosa
(c) 2002 All rights reserved

Another poem,
The Balad of Ponty Jones
maybe found in the Days Gone By page
of the Maritime Union of Australia site.

The wreck

The Pamir