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The Belle Hill - A Poem by Paddy Mullen

On the 26th of February 1875, the Belle Hill she was captured, among a gruelling tide. The water she was evil, the winds blew south of east, the boat she creaked and groaned, in the belly of this beast.

With tattered sails she was stricken, the Belle came in to view, off the coast of the Brig, there came her weary crew. The sea was unforgiving, the waves they rocked and rolled, captain Edgar at her helm.

He fought the sea so bold, the crew held on for life, they were fighting all the way, strapped on to the masts, to see another day. The rocks dug in her belly, as masts broke on her floor, the men were washed in to the sea, their bodies were washed on the shore.

Now the word soon shot around town, locals gathered to see the sight, of the Belle Hill and her shipmen, and how they fought the fight. The coastguard was at hand, to try and save these men, but the sea was so horrendous, and they had to try again.

Three times they launched the lifeline; three times it went astray, through the howling of the wind, and the spit of the ocean spray. They called to Skerries harbour, to get their boat to sea, but the crew of the coastguards rescue, had no place to launch her free.

The horses they pulled in to town, the lifeboat was heading to shore, but the troubles were only just starting, as the bridge was too low to the floor. By now the Belle she was sinking, and most of her crew had all died, three men they clung on for hours, hoping to beat this harsh tide.

Finally a boat came to save them; it battled the angriest wave, the men hopped aboard the life raft, in a bid for them to be saved. But the water she surly was not done yet, as she tossed their raft up on end, once more to the sea have them captured, once more to her depths they descend.

The crew and the men of the rescue, somehow they all made it to land, but two of the men of the Belle hill, were so weary they died on the strand. Mcdonnell was the only survivor, the Irishman lived to tell tale, of the day that the boat he was out on, laid waste to the seas angry gale.

Now legend it says that the crewmen, who died back then in the day, are buried on land under rocks, and are honoured with stones where they lay.

Paddy 10.07.18

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