Deign to receive, though unadorn’d
By the poetic art,
The rude expressions which bespeak
A Sailor’s untaught heart!
A heart susceptible, sincere, and true;
A heart, by fate, and nature, torn in two:
One half, to duty and his country due;
The other, better half, to love and you!
Sooner shall Britain’s sons
The empire of the sea;
Than Henry shall renounce his faith,
AND PLIGHTED VOWS, TO THEE!
And waves on wares shall cease
And tides forget to flow;
Ere thy true Henry’s constant love,
Or ebb, or change, shall know.
The weather, thank God, is moderating.
I have just got a letter from the new Earl at the Admiralty, full of compliments. But nothing shall stop my law-suit, and I hope to cast him.
I trust, when I get to Spithead, there will be no difficulty in getting leave of absence.
The letters on service are so numerous, from three days interruption of the post, that I must conclude with assuring you, that I am, for ever, your attached, and unalterably your’s,
NELSON & BRONTE.
I shall begin a letter at night.
You say, my Dearest Friend, why don’t I put my Chief forward? He has put me in the front of the battle, and Nelson will be first. I could say more; but will not make you uneasy, knowing the firm friendship you have for me.
The St. George will stamp an additional ray of glory to England’s fame, if Nelson survives; and that Almighty Providence, who has hitherto protected me in all dangers, and covered my head in the day of battle, will still, if it be his pleasure, support and assist me.
Keep me alive, in your and Sir William’s remembrance. My last thoughts will be with you both, for you love and esteem me. I judge your hearts by my own.
May the Great God of Heaven protect and bless you and him! is the fervent prayer of your and Sir William’s unalterable friend, till death.
Friday Night, Nine o’Clock.
St. George. [March 1801.]
Having, my truly Dearest Friend, got through a great deal of business, I am enabled to do justice to my private feelings; which are fixed, ever, on you, and about you, whenever the public service does not arrest my attention.
I have read all, all, your kind and affectionate letters: and have read them frequently over; and committed them to the flames, much against my inclination. There was one I rejoiced not to have read at the time. It was, where you consented to dine and sing with * * * *. Thank God, it was not so! I could not have borne it; and, now, less than ever. But, I now know, he never can dine with you; for, you would go out of the house sooner than suffer it: and, as to letting him hear you sing, I only hope he will be struck deaf, and you dumb, sooner than such a thing should happen! But, I know, it never now can.