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Summer of 1611.

At daybreak, on the frozen Hudson's Bay,
Shut in from mortal view,
The ship "Discovery" at anchor lay,
With her disheartened crew.


All winter long, starvation at the feast
Had been a constant guest;
The northwest passage to the favored East
Seemed like an idle quest.


They murmured at their leader, brought to feed
The fishes of the deep;
And murmuring grew to hatred: they decreed
He in their stead should sleep


In the cold waters which his name should bear--
His monument and grave;
They seized and bound him in their mad despair,
And none was near to save.


Into the shallop Henry Hudson stepped,
His darling son beside;
And six poor wasted seamen near him crept,
To stem that frozen tide.


The dawn was breaking on that ice-clad world,
When drifted out to sea,
The sport of icebergs, by the currents whirled,
That starving company.


What was the end? Who lingered last of all
In that lone voyage of death?
Who in delirium would faintly call,
With his expiring breath,


For wife and mother on the English shore?
Who strain his glazing eyes
In hope of succor that could come no more?
Then prays and faints and dies.


Their noble leader gone, the murderous crew
Set sail for native land;
For months they wandered, growing gaunt and few
From want and savage hand.


At last, too weak to steer, their vessel ran
Into an Irish bay;
Each one, unwelcome to his fellow-man,
Dishonored, passed away.


And when the ship "Discovery" was sent
To learn of Hudson's fate,
Only the icebergs heard the sad lament
Of friends who came too late.