Collected Poems 1897 - 1907 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 50 pages of information about Collected Poems 1897.

The wind was rising easterly, the morning sky was blue,
  The Straits before us opened wide and free;
We looked towards the Admiral, where high the Peter flew,
  And all our hearts were dancing like the sea. 
“The French are gone to Martinique with four and twenty sail! 
  The Old Superb is old and foul and slow,
But the French are gone to Martinique, and Nelson’s on the trail. 
  And where he goes the Old Superb must go!”

    So Westward ho! for Trinidad, and Eastward ho! for Spain,
      And “Ship ahoy!” a hundred times a day;
    Round the world if need be, and round the world again,
      With a lame duck lagging all the way.

The Old Superb was barnacled and green as grass below,
  Her sticks were only fit for stirring grog;
The pride of all her midshipmen was silent long ago,
  And long ago they ceased to heave the log. 
Four year out from home she was, and ne’er a week in port,
  And nothing save the guns aboard her bright;
But Captain Keats he knew the game, and swore to share the sport,
  For he never yet came in too late to fight.

    So Westward ho! for Trinidad, and Eastward ho! for Spain,
      And “Ship ahoy!” a hundred times a day;
    Round the world if need be, and round the world again,
      With a lame duck lagging all the way.

“Now up, my lads,” the Captain cried, “for sure the case were hard
  If longest out were first to fall behind;
Aloft, aloft with studding sails, and lash them on the yard,
  For night and day the Trades are driving blind!”
So all day long and all day long behind the fleet we crept,
  And how we fretted none but Nelson guessed;
But every night the Old Superb she sailed when others slept,
  Till we ran the French to earth with all the rest.

    Oh, ’twas Westward ho! for Trinidad, and Eastward ho! for Spain,
      And “Ship ahoy!” a hundred times a day;
    Round the world if need be, and round the world again,
      With a lame duck lagging all the way.

The Quarter-Gunner’s Yarn

We lay at St. Helen’s, and easy she rode
With one anchor catted and fresh-water stowed;
When the barge came alongside like bullocks we roared,
For we knew what we carried with Nelson aboard.

Our Captain was Hardy, the pride of us all,
I’ll ask for none better when danger shall call;
He was hardy by nature and Hardy by name,
And soon by his conduct to honour he came.

The third day the Lizard was under our lee,
Where the Ajax and Thunderer joined us at sea,
But what with foul weather and tacking about,
When we sighted the Fleet we were thirteen days out.

The Captains they all came aboard quick enough,
But the news that they brought was as heavy as duff;
So backward an enemy never was seen,
They were harder to come at than Cheeks the Marine.

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Project Gutenberg
Collected Poems 1897 - 1907 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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