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The Ocean Burial (Rev. Edwin H. Chapin)
See also: Bury Me Not In The Deep Deep Sea (Collected by Kenneth Peacock)
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"O, bury me not in the deep, deep sea,"
The words came low and mournfully
From the pallid lips of a youth who lay
On his cabin couch at the close of day;
He had wasted and pined till o'er his brow
The death-shade had slowly passed and now,
Where the land and his fond-loved home were nigh,
They had gathered around him to see him die.

"O, bury me not in the deep, deep sea,
Where the billowy shroud will roll over me,
Where no light will break through the dark, cold wave,
And no sunbeam rest upon my grave;
It matters not, I have oft been told,
Where the body shall lie when the heart is cold,
Yet grant ye, oh, grant ye this boon to me,
O, bury me not in the deep, deep sea.

"For in fancy I've listened to the well known words,
The free, wild winds, and the songs of the birds;
I have thought of home, of cot and bower,
And of scenes that I loved in childhood's hour;
I had ever hoped to be laid when I died,
In the church-yard there, on the green hillside;
By the bones of my fathers my grave should be,
O, bury me not in the deep, deep sea.

"Let my death-slumbers be where a mother's prayer,
And a sister's tear shall be mingled there;
O, 'Twill be sweet, ere the heart's throb is o'er,
To know, when its fountains shall gush no more,
That those it so fondly hath yearned for will come,
To plant the first wild-flower of spring on my tomb;
Let me lie where those loved ones will weep over me,
O, bury me not in the deep, deep sea.

"And there is another; her tears would be shed,
For him who lay far in an ocean bed;
In hours that it pains me to think of now,
She hath twined these locks, and hath kissed this brow;
In the hair she hath wreathed, shall the sea-snake hiss?
And the brow she hath pressed, shall the cold wave kiss?
For the sake of that bright one that waiteth for me,
O, bury me not in the deep, deep sea.

"She hath been in my dreams" - his voice failed there,
They gave no heed to his dying prayer;
They have lowered him slow o'er the vessel's side,
Above him has closed the dark, cold tide;
Where to dip their light wings the sea-fowls rest,
Where the blue waves dance o'er the ocean's crest;
Where the billows bound and the winds sport free,
They have buried him there, in the deep, deep sea.

####.... Words published in 1839 by Rev. Edwin H. Chapin [1814-1880] and set to music in 1850 by George N. Allen [1812-1877]. This arrangement from The Lester S. Levy Sheet Music Collection ....####

A variant was collected in 1960 from Leonard Hulan of Jeffrey's, NL, by Kenneth Peacock and published as Bury Me Not In The Deep Deep Sea in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 1, pp.151-152, by The National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

Kenneth Peacock noted that the words of this sailor's lament were supposed to have been written by a Rev. E. H. Chapin and published as The Ocean Burial in the September 1839 issue of Poe's Southern Literary Messenger. When the words were set to music by George N. Allen, the song became a fo'c'sle favourite and soon found its way into the lumberjacks' repertoire as well. After it reached the frontier, the cowboys took it to their hearts and made it over into the famous Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie.





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