The Vanishing of the Mary Celeste: A Poem of the Mysterious Disappearance of Her Crew and Passengers

The Mary Celeste painted by an unknown author when it was first commissioned as the Amazon.
The Mary Celeste painted by an unknown author when it was first commissioned as the Amazon. | Source

Historical Facts About the Mary Celeste

The mystery of the disappearance of the sailing ship, the Mary Celeste, found drifting on December 4, 1872, has not been solved over 100 years later. The facts in history point to a crew and passengers who seemed to have vanished into thin air and left a completely deserted, yet intact, ship.

The Mary Celeste was originally commissioned in 1861 as the Nova Scotian brigantine ship, the Amazon. Early history of death marked it as a cursed ship almost from the beginning. Three captains died while on board her, beginning with the captain on the maiden voyage of the Amazon.

After a troublesome beginning plagued with untimely deaths and wrecks, the then salvaged ship was transferred to American/British ownership in 1869 and was renamed the Mary Celeste.

The newly named ship set sail from the docks of New York on November 5, 1872 bound for Italy. On board were experienced captain, Benjamin S. Briggs, his wife, their daughter and capable crew of seven seamen. The cargo was 1,701 barrels of alcohol for use in Italian wine.

On December 4, 1872, the brigantine ship Dei Gratia spotted the Mary Celeste oddly listing, derelict, apparently abandoned, with cargo and all the crew's possessions mostly intact.

While many theories have been proposed, from time travel and UFO's to murder and mutiny, the mystery of the disappearance of Captain Briggs, his family and his crew has never been solved. It is no wonder that vanished crew and passengers of the Mary Celeste have haunted the imaginations of writers for decades.

Vanished! The Crew of the Mary Celeste

Where are the men who trod these planks?

The lazy list of the sailing ship is eerily silent and unyielding -

No sign of Captain Briggs, no crew;

Only a cargo of potent brew.


What was the strange manner of death? The log is incomplete.

'Twas mutiny, you say?

But wait, that won't keep the speculations at bay;

What don't we know, even to this day?


A woman on board; a child and preacher, too.

Did all succumb to a watery death, along with the doomed crew?


Where are the men who trod these planks

As their loved ones paced the shore?

Loving gazes, soft caresses and sweet whispers will be no more.


So sad was the fate of the men who trod these planks,

Bound for Italy's sunny banks.

The woman, the child and the preacher, too,

All sailed on the ill fated Mary Celeste -

The cargo made it, but, alas, where was her crew?



Copyright December 1, 2013 Cynthia Turner



The Fate of the Mary Celeste

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24 comments

BlossomSB profile image

BlossomSB 3 years ago from Victoria, Australia

A great mystery to whet our appetites and imaginations.


Cyndi10 profile image

Cyndi10 3 years ago from Georgia Author

it is fascinating. I suppose we will never know what happened although lots of theories have been posed.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

I love the poem right up my alley, and the facts about the Mary Celeste gave the poem that extra punch, Cyndi..AWESOME!!!!!


MG Singh profile image

MG Singh 3 years ago from Singapore

Wonderful poem on a mystery


Cyndi10 profile image

Cyndi10 3 years ago from Georgia Author

Hello Frank, I'm so glad you enjoyed this one. The ship's disappearance has been the source of so many stories over the years. You almost have to write about once you read the facts and speculations.


Cyndi10 profile image

Cyndi10 3 years ago from Georgia Author

Hi MG, Thank you for leaving the positive comment about the poem. Take care.


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 2 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Mysteriously wonderful.


Cyndi10 profile image

Cyndi10 2 years ago from Georgia Author

Hi, Glad you enjoyed it. Thank you for leaving the positive comment! Take care.


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 2 years ago from California

Seems appropriate to read this right now ! Hope you are doing well Cyndi!


Cyndi10 profile image

Cyndi10 2 years ago from Georgia Author

Hello Audrey, It's been a while. Hope you are also well.

As I've been watching the news, I couldn't help thinking of the similarities.

Thanks for stopping by.


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 2 years ago from london

Thoughtful and worth pondering on. Another mystery true.


Cyndi10 profile image

Cyndi10 2 years ago from Georgia Author

Hi, Thanks for reading. That mystery has never been solved.

Take care.


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 2 years ago from California

Came back for another read! Hope you are doing well!


Cyndi10 profile image

Cyndi10 2 years ago from Georgia Author

Thanks so much. Doing well on this side of the states.


nighthag profile image

nighthag 2 years ago from Australia

ah such a mystery does indeed tease the mind... this was a great poem highlighting the strange wondering's that are still being whispered to day.

well done!


Cyndi10 profile image

Cyndi10 2 years ago from Georgia Author

Hello nighthag, Those mysteries just linger and fuel the imagination with what might have happened. Thanks for taking a read and taking the time to leave a comment.

Take care.


PurvisBobbi44 profile image

PurvisBobbi44 2 years ago from Florida

Hi Cyndi10,

I loved this because anything about the salty waters that surround us is an attention getter for me.

I have poems in my mind ready to be written when I have the time.I write poems about the angry sea and how it separate lovers of eons ago.

Bobbi Purvis


Cyndi10 profile image

Cyndi10 2 years ago from Georgia Author

Hi Bobbi, The sea can be angry, unrelenting and certainly unforgiving - as much as we love it. Thanks for taking the time to read my poem. Take care.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

Cyndi, I have always been intrigued by the fate of the crew of the Mary Celeste. She certainly was cursed. Love the poem, it told the story perfectly also.


Cyndi10 profile image

Cyndi10 2 years ago from Georgia Author

Hi again, John. The disappearance of the Crew of the Mary Celeste It is such a fascinating case. Whenever the unexplained happens, it gets our attention. The what ifs are endless and frustrating because there are no answers to the mystery. Thanks so much for reading. I'm so happy that you enjoyed it. Take care.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 22 months ago from England

Great poem cyndi, and yes The Mary Celeste is a great mystery, if it had been pirates then they would have taken the goods, the food was still on the table and nothing had been moved, one theory was bad weather, but all people falling overboard? very weird! love to know the answer though, great hub! nell


Cyndi10 profile image

Cyndi10 22 months ago from Georgia Author

Hi Nell, Thanks for reading. I would love to know what happened as well! Those mysteries always stick with you, don't they. Maybe one day science will be at a point where we will get the answers. Through time travel, maybe. Thanks so much for the comment.


Teresa Coppens 18 months ago

Loved the poem. Love unsolved mysteries as well. I wrote about the Celeste myself in a Hub. The poem at the end of yours nails it! Great job.


Cyndi10 profile image

Cyndi10 18 months ago from Georgia Author

Hi Teresa, Thanks for leaving such a positive comment. I like unsolved mysteries, as well. It gives so much for the imagination to work on. It would be great to someday get answers, though.

Take care and have a creative day.

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