Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
Loss of the Hornet
 
YE seamen and ye landsmen all,
  Ye mothers and widows too,
Attend unto my story,
  About the Hornet’s crew.
 
She sail’d from New York harbour,        5
  Bound to the Spanish main,
There to protect our commerce,
  But ne’er returned again.
 
She convoy’d many vessels,
  And was the pirate’s dread;        10
Still more than death they hated
  The Hornet’s boats, ’tis said.
 
For Norris, her commander,
  Would send his gallant men
To scour the coast by sea and land        15
  And find each pirate’s den.
 
Our merchants they protected,
  And their little gain
They snatch’d with brave exertion,
  From the hands of Spain.        20
 
Our merchants they protected,
  And would have brought them home,
But, ah! her brave commander,
  For dismal was his doom.
 
On the tenth day of September,        25
  She off Tampico lay;
And many well remember
  The gale that blew that day.
 
She had to slip her cables,
  She had to put to sea;        30
The deadly blast, it is the last,
  Brother, I’ll hear from thee.
 
The widow’s heart is breaking,
  Hope no more can charm;
The mother’s breast is aching,        35
  And, love, why her alarm?
 
She sees the proud ship sinking
  Beneath the hungry wave,
Her love death’s cup is drinking,
  She shrieks, but cannot save.        40
 
“My Henry was on board of her,”
  The weeping mother cries,
“He was my youngest, dearest son,
  The one I did most prize.
 
“He was too proud to stoop or crawl        45
  To men of low degree;
He lost his fortune on the land,
  And sought it on the sea.
 
“But he is dead! the gallant boy,
  And why should I repine?        50
There many a mother lost a son
  As proud and fair as mine.
 
“And many a youthful, blooming bride,
  With her infant at her breast,
Sheds o’er the orphan child a tear,        55
  And feels as much distress’d.”
 
The Hornet’s lost, the good and brave
  Are in the ocean deep;
No arm was nigh her crew to save,
  She sunk, and thousands weep.        60
 
In Congress now we must repose
  Our only hope to gain;
A remedy, though small, for those
  Who lost all on the main.
 
 
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