Here you will find the Poem Our Hero of poet Frances Ellen Watkins
Onward to her destination, O'er the stream that Hannah sped, When a cry of consternation Smote and chilled our hearts with dread. Wildly leaping, madly sweeping, All relentless in their sway, Like a band of cruel demons Flames were closing 'round our way Oh! the horror of those moments; Flames above and waves below- Oh! the agony of ages Crowded in one hour of woe. Fainter grew our hearts with anguish In that hour with peril rife, When we saw the pilot flying, Terror-stricken, for his life. Then a man up rose before us- We had once despised his race- But we saw a lofty purpose Lighting up his darkened face. While the flames were madly roaring, With a courage grand and high, Forth he rushed unto our rescue, Strong to suffer, brave to die. Helplessly the boat was drifting, Death was staring in each face, When he grasped the fallen rudder, Took the pilot's vacant place. Could he save us? Would he save us? All his hope of life give o'er? Could he hold that fated vessel 'Till she reached the nearer shore? All our hopes and fears were centered 'Round his strong, unfaltering hand; If he failed us we must perish, Perish just in sight of land. Breathlessly we watched and waited While the flames were raging fast; When our anguish changed to rapture- We were saved, yes, saved at last. Never strains of sweetest music Brought to us more welcome sound.