Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > England
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
England: Vols. I–IV.  1876–79.
 
Channel, the English
The Arethusa
Prince Hoare (1755–1834)
 
COME, all ye jolly sailors bold,
Whose hearts are cast in honor’s mould,
    While English glory I unfold,—
      Huzza to the Arethusa!
She is a frigate tight and brave        5
As ever stemmed the dashing wave:
          Her men are stanch
          To their favorite launch,
And when the foe shall meet our fire,
Sooner than strike, we ’ll all expire,        10
      On board of the Arethusa.
 
’T was with old Keppel she went out,
The English Channel to cruise about,
When four French sail, in show so stout,
      Bore down on the Arethusa.        15
The famed Belle Poule straight ahead did lie,—
The Arethusa seemed to fly;
          Not a sheet or a tack,
          Or a brace did she slack;
Though the Frenchman laughed, and thought it stuff;        20
But they knew not the handful of men, how tough,
      On board of the Arethusa.
 
On deck five hundred men did dance,
The stoutest they could find in France;
We with two hundred did advance,        25
      On board of the Arethusa.
Our captain hailed the Frenchman, “Ho!”
The Frenchman then cried out, “Hallo!”
          “Bear down, d’ye see,
          To our admiral’s lee.”        30
“No, no,” says the Frenchman, “that can’t be.”
“Then I must lug you along with me,”
      Says the saucy Arethusa.
 
The fight was off the Frenchman’s land;
We forced them back upon their strand;        35
For we fought till not a stick would stand
      On board of the Arethusa.
And since we ’ve driven the foe ashore,
Never to fight with Britons more,
          Let each fill a glass        40
          To his favorite lass;
A health to our captain and officers too,
And all who belong to the jovial crew
      On board of the Arethusa.
 
 
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