Defeat of the Ward Brothers
by Byron de Wolfe
Saint John Globe, August 29, 1922
Who will dare, as rival oarsmen,
to against us bravely row?
Where are four men who will meet us?
Tell us, for we'd like to know.
Where's the boat's crew that can lead us,
And can greater fame command?
For we are champion oarsmen
of this great republic land.
Well the Wards the world might challenge,
for their triumphs were not few,
With their oars and boats they had often beaten
a brave contending crew;
And their countrymen who knew them oft
went from place to place,
Saying there are no four oarsmen
who can beat them in a race.
But far off, in New Brunswick's province,
four brave fishermen did dwell;
They had toiled since they were children
in the land they loved so well;
They had often met with dangers
when the peaceful winds had gone,
And the Storm King shoot their fishboats
on the turbulent St. John.
Up they rose, brave hearted fellows,
and to the Ward brother cried:
"We will meet you on the waters
since you have the world defied."
We are but New Brunswick oarsmen,
but you'll recollect we've been
Matched against some crews of Europe
and we've met you on the Seine.
"Well you've spoken, Bluenose oarsmen,"
said the famous brothers four,
"On the Seine you did your duty,
we'll forget it never more.
But America's not Europe,
and the Wards you did not try,
Of the world we are champion oarsmen
and New Brunswick we defy."
Soon they met upon the river,
the Connecticut, and they
Had their boats and oars all ready
on a cold October day,
While five thousand people
stood the river margin on.
Some betting on the sons of Cornwall
or the oarsmen of St. John.
Stephen King and Charles E. Potter,
judges for New Brunswick's crew,
Were there with good Sheriff Harding,
its head backer, tried and true;
He had been with the crew to Paris,
saw them win upon the Seine,
And he knew the men who were with him
did to beat the brothers mean.
Now the rival crews are ready;
"Go." they make a splendid start.
And the Wards are bravely leading,
each one bound to do his part.
And their friends do proudly cheer,
say they are their country's pride;
But, hark! In a few minutes after,
cheers come from the other side.
See in sight one boat returning,
"Which one is it?" is the shout:
'Tis decided in a moment,
and no longer there's a doubt:
Not the boat of the Ward brothers
now the crowd is gazing on.
For shirts and caps soon tell of triumph
for the oarsmen of St. John.
Victory for dear New Brunswick,
soon the joyous shout we hear:
'Tis, indeed, melodious music
borne to each provincial ear.
And many a man says,
while thinking his extensive losses on,
"Never more will I bet my money
'gainst the oarsmen of St. John."
Oarsmen brave, a hearty welcome
greets you in your native land.
More than thanks the people give you
gold have they for every hand;
Every hand that did its duty
and now see our flag unfurled,
While we greet New Brunswick oarsmen
as the Champions of the world.
Old St. John does not forget you,
but she makes your hearts beat glad;
She knows how to treat her oarsmen
when they to her triumphs add,
"Springfield," it's upon her banner,
side by side, with "Paris" view
For you are champion oarsmen
of the Old World and the New.