The Dying Californian 398b
Tune: R. F. Ball and Drinkard, 1859
Alto: Wilson Marion Cooper, 1902
Lyrics: Kate Harris, 1850
Meter: 8s,7s (8,7,8,7)
Lay up nearer, brother, nearer,
For my limbs are growing cold,
And thy presence seemeth nearer
When thine arms around me fold.
I am dying, brother, dying,
Soon you’ll miss me in your berth,
For my form will soon be lying
‘Neath the ocean’s briny surf.
I am going, surely going,
But my hope in God is strong;
I am willing, brother, knowing
That He doeth nothing wrong.
These words were inspired by the story of Brown Owen, who died on his passage to California, as told by the Captain of his ship.