Lake Erie dies

John Maynard
 1)

John Maynard!

"Who is John Maynard?"

"John Maynard was our helmsman,
He held out till he got the bank,
He saved us, he wears the crown,
He died for us, our love his reward.
John Maynard. "

*

The "swallow" flies over Lake Erie 1),
Spray foams around the bow like flakes of snow;
She flies from Detroit to Buffalo -
But hearts are free and happy,
And the passengers with children and women
Already see the shore in the twilight,
And chatting up to John Maynard
Kicks everything: "How far still, helmsman?"
He looks ahead and looks around:
"Thirty minutes more ... half an hour."

All hearts are happy, all hearts are free -
It sounds like a scream from the hold,
"Fire!" was it what sounded
A smoke came from the cabin and hatch,
A smoke, then flames ablaze,
And another twenty minutes to Buffalo.

And the passengers, mixed in color,
They stand huddled by the bowsprit,
There is still air and light on the front bowsprit,
But at the wheel it sits close,
And a wail becomes loud: "Where are we? Where?"
And fifteen minutes to Buffalo. -

The draft grows, but the cloud of smoke stands
The captain peeks at the wheel
He no longer sees his helmsman
But through the mouthpiece he asks:
"Still there, John Maynard?"
"Yes, sir. I am."
"On the beach! Into the surf!"
"I'm holding on to it."
And the ship's people cheer: "Hold out! Hello!"
And another ten minutes to Buffalo. -

"Still there, John Maynard?" And there is an answer
With a dying voice: "Yes, Lord, I'll stop!"
And into the surf, what cliff, what stone,
He chases the "swallow" right into it.
If salvation is to come, it will only come that way.
Rescue: Buffalo Beach!

*

The ship broke. The fire smoldered.
Saved everyone. Only one is missing.

*

All the bells go off; their tones swell
Heaven from churches and chapels,
A ringing and ringing, otherwise the city is silent,
One service only that she has today:
Ten thousand follow or more
And no eye in the train, the tearless.

They lower the coffin in flowers
They close the grave with flowers
And with gold writing in the marble stone
If the city writes its thanks:

"Here rests John Maynard! In smoke and fire
If he held the steering wheel tightly in his hand,
He saved us, he wears the crown,
He died for us, our love his reward.
John Maynard! "