Back to the phrase.... After applying the rules learned from previous deciphering, the Wreck of the Hespahs became , "The Wreck of the Hesperus." Still, I have never heard of such a thing. But Google had. :) It was a Poem by Longfellow about a stubborn prideful Captain who went against the word of an experienced sailor on his ship and set sail into a storm that would take the life of all aboard his ship. As the storm hit he tied his Daughter to the mast so she wouldn't be washed overboard. They all perished as the ship went down. The only body found was the Daughter still tied to the mast as it washed up on shore with seaweed in her hair. Disheveled would be an understatement I think but now I understand the reference.
Some other interesting points I found
The Wreck of the Hesperus is also referenced in the comic song "Lydia the Tattooed Lady," written by Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg and performed by Groucho Marx in the Marx Brothers movie At the Circus (1939). It became one of Groucho's signature tunes.
- Oh Lydia, oh Lydia, say, have you met Lydia?
- Lydia The Tattooed Lady.
- She has eyes that folks adore so,
- And a torso, even more so.
- Lydia, oh Lydia, that encyclopedia,
- Oh Lydia The Queen of Tattoo.
- On her back is The Battle of Waterloo.
- Beside it The Wreck of the Hesperus too.
- And proudly above waves the red, white, and blue.
- You can learn a lot from Lydia!"