’Tis a story oft repeated, ’tis a triumph
How a thousand hearts are strengthened by the bravery of one
There was never dauntless courage of the loyal and the true
That did not inspirit others unto deeds of daring too;
There was never bright example, be the struggle what it might,
That did not inflame the ardour of the others in the fight.
Up, then, ye who would be heroes, and, before the strife is past,
For the sake of those about you, “nail the colours to the mast!”
For the flag is ever flying, and it floats above the
free, On island and on continent, and up and down
the sea; And the conflict ever rages—there
are many foes to fight— There are many
ills to conquer, there are many wrongs to right, For
the glory of the moment, for the triumph by-and-bye;
For the love of truth and duty, up and dare, and do
or die, And though fire and shot and whirlwind join
to tear the standard
Up and nail it to the masthead, as we did at Camperdown.
BY LORD MACAULAY.
Attend, all ye who list to hear our noble England’s
I tell of the thrice-famous deeds she wrought in ancient days,
When that great Fleet Invincible against her bore, in vain,
The richest spoils of Mexico, the stoutest hearts in Spain.
It was about the lovely close of a warm summer day,
There came a gallant merchant-ship full sail to Plymouth Bay;
The crew had seen Castile’s black fleet, beyond Aurigny’s isle,
At earliest twilight, on the waves, lie heaving many a mile.
At sunrise she escaped their van, by God’s especial grace;
And the tall Pinta, till the noon, had held her close in chase.
Forthwith a guard, at every gun, was placed along the wall;
The beacon blazed upon the roof of Edgecombe’s lofty hall;
Many a light fishing-bark put out, to pry along the coast;
And with loose rein, and bloody spur, rode inland many a post.
With his white hair, unbonneted, the stout old sheriff
Behind him march the halberdiers, before him sound the drums:
The yeomen, round the market cross, make clear and ample space,
For there behoves him to set up the standard of Her Grace:
And haughtily the trumpets peal, and gaily dance the bells,
As slow upon the labouring wind the royal blazon swells.
Look how the Lion of the sea lifts up his ancient crown,
And underneath his deadly paw treads the gay lilies down!
So stalked he when he turned to flight, on that famed Picard field,
Bohemia’s plume, and Genoa’s bow, and Caesar’s eagle shield:
So glared he when, at Agincourt, in wrath he turned to bay,
And crushed and torn, beneath his claws, the princely hunters lay.
Ho! strike the flagstaff deep, Sir Knight! ho! scatter flowers, fair
Ho! gunners! fire a loud salute! ho! gallants! draw your blades!
Thou, sun, shine on her joyously! ye breezes, waft her wide!
Our glorious semper eadem! the banner of our pride!