Imagens da página

Eight hundred of the brave,

Whose courage well was tried. Had made the vessel heel,

And laid her on her side.

A land-breeze shook the shrouds,

And she was overset; Down went the Royal George,

With all her crew complete.

Toll for the brave !

Brave Kempenfelt is gone; His last sca-fight is fought,

His work of glory done.

It was not in the battle ;

No tempest gave the shock; She sprang no fatal leak;

She ran upon no rock.

| Down on the vale of death, with dismal cries,
The fated victims, shuddering, roll their eyes
In wild despair ; while yet another stroke,
With deep convulsion, rends the solid oak;
Till like the mine, in whose infernal cell
The lurking demons of destruction dwell,
At length asunder torn her frame divides,
And, crashing, spreads in ruin o'er the tides.

O, were it mine with tuneful Maro's art
To wake to sympathy the feeling heart;
Like him the smooth and mournful versc to dress
In all the pomp of exquisite distress,
Then too severely taught by cruel fate,
To share in all the perils 1 relate,
Then might I, with unrivalled strains deplore
The impervious horrors of a leeward shore !

As o'er the surge the stooping mainmast hung,
Still on the rigging thirty seamen clung;
Some, struggling, on a broken crag were cast,
And there by oozy tangles grappled fast.
Awhile they bore the o'erwhelming billows' ragė,
Unequal combat with their fate to wage;
Till, all benumbed and feeble, they forego
Their slippery hold, and sink to shades below.
Some, from the main-yard-arm impetuous thrown
On marble ridges, die without a groan.
Three with Palemon on their skill depend,
And from the wreck on oars and rafts descend.
Now on the mountain wave on high they ride,
Then downward plunge beneath the involving

Till one, who seems in agony to strive,
The whirling breakers heave on shore alive;
The rest a speedier end of anguish knew,
And prest the stony beach, a lifeless crew!

His sword was in its sheath;

His fingers held the pen, When Kempenfelt went down

With twice four hundred men.

Weigh the vessel up,

Once dreaded by our foes ! And mingle with our cup

The tear that England owes.

Her timbers yet are sound,

And she may float again, Full charged with England's thunder,

And plough the distant main.


But Kempenfelt is gone; .

His victories are o'er ;
And he and his eight hundred
Shall plough the wave no more.





IN vain the cords and axes were prepared, For now the audacious seas insult the yard ; High o'er the ship they throw a horrid shade, And o'er her burst in terrible cascade. Uplifted on the surge, to heaven she flies, Her shattered top half-buried in the skies, Then headlong plunging thunders on the ground; Earth groans ! air trembles ! and the deeps re

sound ! Her giant-bulk the dread concussion feels, And quivering with the wound in torment reels. So reels, convulsed with agonizing throes, The bleeding bull beneath the murderer's blows. Agnin she plunges ! hark ! a second shock Tears her strong bottom on the marble rock :

YE mariners of England,
That guard our native seas ;
Whose slag has braved, a thousand years,
The battle and the breeze !
Your glorious standard launch again
To match another foe!
And sweep through the deer,
While the stormy winds do blow;
While the battle rages loud and long,
And the stormy winds do blow.

The spirits of your fathers
Shall start from every wave;
For the deck it was their field of fame,
And Ocean was their grave.

Where Blake and mighty Nelson fell,
Your manly hearts shall glow,
As ye sweep through the deep,
While the stormy winds do blow ;
While the battle rages loud and long,
And the stormy winds do blow.

III. But the might of England flushed To anticipate the scene; And her van the flecter rushed O'er the dendly space between. “Hearts of oak!” our captains cried; when

each gun From its adamantine lips Spread a death-shade round the ships, Like the hurricane eclipse of the sun.


III. Britannia nccds no bulwarks, No towers along the steep; Her march is o'er the mountain-waves, Her home is on the deep. With thunders from her native oak, She quells the floods below, — As they roar on the shore, When the stormy winds do blow; When the battle rages loud and long And the stormy winds do blow.


Thc meteor Nag of England
Shall yet terrific burn;
Till danger's troubled night depart,
And the star of peace return.
Then, then, ye ocean warriors !
Our song and feast shall llow
To the fame of your name,
When the storm has ceased to blow ;
When the fiery fight is heard no more
And the storm has ceased to blow.




"Look to the Baltic, - blazing from afar,

Your old ally yet mourns perfidious war."

Again ! again ! again !
And the havoc did not slack,
Till a fecble chcer the Bane
To our chcering sout us back ;
Their shots alo:g the deep slowly boom :-
Then ceased, - and all is wail,
As they strike the shattered sail ;
| Or, in conflagration pale,
Light the gloom.

Outspoke the victor then,
As he hailed them o'er the wave;
“Ye are brothers ! ye are men !
And we conquer but to save !
So peace instead of death let us bring;
But yield, prond foe, thy fleet,
With the crews, at England's feet,
| And make submission mect
To our King."

vi. | Then Denmark blessed our chief, | That he gave her wounds reposc ; And the sounds of joy and grief From her people wildly rose, As Death withdrew his shades from the day While the sun looked smiling bright | O'er a wide and woful sight, Where the fires of f:ineral light Died away.

Now joy, Old England, raise !
For the tidings of thy might,
By the sestal cities' blaze,
Whilst the wine-cup shines in light;
And yet, amidst that joy and uproar,
Let us think of them that sleep,
| Full many a fathom deep,
By thy wild and stormy steep,
Elsinore !

Brave hearts ! to Britain's pride
Once so faithful and so true,
On the deck of fame that died
| With the gallant good Riou :


1. Or Nelson and the North Sing the glorious day's renown, When to battle fierce camc forth All the might of Denmark's crown, And her arms along the deep proudly shone By cach gun the lighted brand, In a bold, determined hand, And the prince of all the land Led them on.

II. Like leviathans afloat, Lay their bulwarks on the brine; While the sign of battle flew On the lofty Britislı line ; It was ten of April morn by the chime : As they drifter on their path, There was silence (leep as death; And the boldest held his breath For a time.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Yet beautiful and bright he stood,

That Ninety-ciglit I sailed on board ; As born to rule the storm ;

Along the Frenchman's coast we flew; A creature of heroic blood,

Right aft the rising tempest roared ; A proud though childlike form.

A noble first-rate love in view ;

And soon high in the gale there soared The flames rolled on ; he would not go

Her streamed-ont bunting, - red, white, blue ! Without his father's worl;

We cleared for fight, and landward bore, That father, faint in death below,

To get between the chase and shorc. His voice no longer hcard.

Masters, I cannot spin a yarn

Twice laid with worils of silken stuff. He called aloud, “Say, father, say,

A fact's a fact ; and ye may larn If yet my task be done ?”

1 The rights o' this, though wild and rough He knew not that the chieftain lay

My words may loom. 'T is your cousarn, Unconscious of his son.

Not mine, to understand. Enough ;

We neared the Frenchman where he lay, “Speak, father!" once again he cried,

And as we neared, he blazed away. “If I may yet be gone!” And but the booming shots replied,

Wc tacked, hove to ; we filled, we woro; And fast the flames rolled on.

Did all that seamanship could do

To rake him aft, or by the fore, — Upon his brow he felt their breath,

Now rounded off, and now broached to; And in his waving hair,

And now our starboard broadside bore, And looked from that lone post of death

And showers of iron through and through In still yet brave despair;

His vast hull lissed ; our larboard then

Swept from his threefold decks his men. And shouted but once more aloud, “My father! must I stay ?”.

As wc, like a huge serpent, toiled, While o'er him sast, through sail and shroud. ! And wound about, through that wild sea, The wreathing fires maile way. .

The Frenchman cach manauvre foiled,

'Vantage to neither there could be. They wrapt the ship in splendor wild,

Whilst thus the waves between us boiled, They canght the flag on high,

We both resolved right manfully And streamcıl above the gallant child,

To figlit it side by side ; – began Like banners in the sky.

Then the fierce strife of man to man. Therc came a burst of thunder sound; Gun bellows forth to gun, and pain The boy, - Oh! where was he?

Rings out lier wildi, delirious scream ! Ask of the winds, that far around

Redoubling thunders shake the main ; With fignents strewed the sea, - I Loud crashing, falls the sliot-rcnt bcam.

The timbers with the broadsides strain ;

The slippery decks send up a steam From hot and living blood, and high And shrill is heard the death-pang cry.

The shredded limb, the splintered bone,

The unstiffened corpse, now block the way! Who now can hear the dying groan ?

The trumpet of the judgment-day,
Had it pealed forth its mighty tone,

We should not then have heard, - to say
Would be rank sin ; but this I tell,
That could alone our madness quell.

Upon the forecastle I fought

As captain of the for'ad gun.
A scattering shot the carriage caught !

What mother then had known her son Of those who stood around ? --- distraught,

And smeared with gore, about they run, Then fall, and writhe, and howling die ! But one escaped, – that one was I !

| The blessed tear was on my check,

She smiled with that old smile I know : “Turn to me, mother, turn and speak,"

Was on my quivering lips, — when lo !
All vanished, and a dark, red streak

Glared wild and vivid from the foe,
That flashed upon the blood-stained water, -
For fore and aft the flames had caught her.
She struck and hailed us. On us fast

All burning, helplessly, she came, –
Near, and more near; and not a mast

Had we to help us from that flame. 'T was then the bravest stood aghast,

'T was then the wicked, on the name (With danger and with guilt appalled) Of God, too long neglected, called. The eddying flames with ravening tongue

Now on our ship's dark bulwarks dash, – We almost touched, — when ocean rung

Down to its depths with one loud crash! In heaven's top vault one instant hung

The vast, intense, and blinding flash!
| Then all was darkness, stillness, dread, -

The wave moaned o'er the valiant dead.
She's gone ! blown up! that gallant foe!

And though she left us in a plight,
We floated still ; leng were, I know,

And hard, the labors of that night To clear the wreck. At length in tow

A frigate took us, when 't was light;
And soon an English port we gained, —
A hulk all battered and blood-stained.
So many slain, — so many drowned !

I like not of that fight to tell.
Come, let the cheerful grog go round !

Messmates, I've done. A spell, ho! spell, Though a pressed man, I'll still be found

To do a seaman's duty well.
I wish our brother landsmen knew
One half we jolly tars go through.


Night darkened round, and the storm pealed;

To windward of us lay the foe.
As he to leeward over keeled,

He could not fight his guns below;
So just was going to strike, -- when reeled

Our vessel, as if some vast blow
From an Almighty hand had rent
The huge ship from her element.

Then howled the thunder. Tumult then

Had stunned herself to silence. Round Were scattered lightning-blasted men !

Our mainmast went. All stifled, drowned, Arose the Frenchman's shout. Again

The bolt burst on us, and we found
Our masts all gone, our decks all riven :

Man's war mocks faintly that of heaven!

Just then, - nay, messmates, laugh not now,

As I, amazed, one minute stood Amidst that rout, — I know not how, —

'T was silence all, — the raving flood, The guns that pealed from stem to bow,

And God's own thunder, — nothing could I then of all that tumult hear,

Or see aught of that scene of fear, —

My aged mother at her door

Sat mildly o'er her humming wheel ; The cottage, orchard, and the moor, –

I saw them plainly all. I'll kneel, And swear I saw them! O, they wore

A look all peace ? Could I but feel Again that bliss that then I felt, That made my heart, like childhood's, melt!

AND are ye sure the news is true ?

And are ye sure he's weel ?
Is this a time to think o' wark?

Ye jades, lay by your wheel
Is this the time to spin a thread,

When Colin's at the door!
Reach down my cloak, I 'll to the quay,

And see him como ashore.
For there 's nae luck about the house,

There 's nac luck at a';
There 's little pleasure in the house

When our gudeman 's awa'.

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

If Sir Sidney was wrong, why then black ball my

E'en his soes he would scorn to deceive;
His escape was but just, and confess it you must,
For it only was taking French leave, you know,
It only was taking French leave.



Sae true his heart, sae smooth his speech,

His breath like caller air ; His very foot has music in 't

As he comes up the stair, -
And will I see his face again ?

And will I hear him speak?
I'm downright dizzy wi' the thought,

In troth I 'm like to greet !
If Colin 's weel, and weel content,

I hae nae mair to crave :
And gin I live to keep him sae

I'm blest aboon thc lave :
And will I see his face again

And will I hear him speak ?
I'm downright dizzy wi' the thought,

In troth I 'm like to greet.
For there 's nae luck about the house,

There's nae luck at a';
There's little pleasure in the house
When our gudeman 's awa'.


I LOVE contemplating - apart

From all his homicidal glory -
The traits that soften to our heart

Napoleon's glory!

'T was when his banners at Boulogne

Armed in our island every freeman,
His navy chanced to capture one

Poor British seaman.

They suffered him — I know not how

Unprisoned on the shore to roam ;
And aye was bent his longing brow

On England's home.


His eye, methinks ! pursued the flight

Of birds to Britain half-way over ; GENTLEFOLKS, in my time, I've made many a i With envy they could reach the white rhyme,

Dear cliffs of Dover.
But the song I now tronble you with,
Lays some claim to applause, and you 'll grant! A stormy midnight watch, he thought,
it, because

Than this sojourn would have been dearer, The subject's Sir Siilney Smith, it is ;

If but the storm his vessel brought The subject's Sir Sidney Smith.

To England nearer.

« AnteriorContinuar »