‘Outgoing: the Ooonah for Burnie’….
How often the radio spoke;
Till the stout little ship and her journey
Grew into a mild sort of joke.
But no longer her donkeyman grapples
His slings by the sweet island shore
For a cargo of timber or apples.
The Oonah goes sailing no more.
No more; save the landfall she’s making,
The last, on her funeral trip
To the land where she goes for her breaking
Grim graveyard of many a ship.
And a few, it may be, will go grieving
To know of that busy craft’s fate,
Who many times hooved with her heaving
As Oonah rolled over the strait.
There many proud, tall-masted schooners
She passed in the night, ships o’ sail;
While stars winked o’er fond honeymooners
Who whispered soft words by her rail.
And tourists and grave politicians,
Who knew the old Oonah full well,
In all sorts of weather conditions,
Have had many a story to tell.
And many a soul who sailed with her,
Since Oonah first breasted the foam,
Has taken the long voyage thither,
To every man’s ultimate home.
Who knows now what mystical journey
Those sail, to the sounds of high mirth
As a ghost-ships heads hull-down for Burnie,
With a complement not of the earth.